Enrolment rises in primary-higher secondary school edu levels; drop in pre-primary due to Covid: Report

NEW DELHI: The gross enrolment ratio across primary, upper primary and higher secondary school education levels in the country saw an increase in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21 despite a drop in admissions in pre-primary sections due to COVID-19, according to a new government report. The ratio compares the enrolment at a specific level of education to the population of the age-group that is most age-appropriate for that level.
The Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report on school education in India for 2021-22 stated that the total students enrolled in schools from primary to higher secondary was 25.57 crore as compared to 25.38 crore in 2020-21.
The enrolment of students in pre-primary to higher secondary increased by 7.85 lakh in 2021-22 as compared to 2020-21, it stated, adding that enrolment, however, in pre-primary sections of schools dropped by 11.5 lakh.
Though the impact of the pandemic is at all levels, “this is particularly noticed in the enrolment of young and vulnerable kids like pre-primary classes may be attributed to postponement of admissions due to COVID-19”, the report stated.
“Total number of scheduled castes enrolment increased to 4.82 crore in 2021-22 as compared to 4.78 crore in 2020-21. Similarly, total scheduled tribes enrolment increased to 2.51 crore in 2021-22 from 2.49 crore in 2020-21. Total (enrolment of) other backward students also increased to 11.48 crore in 2021-22 from 11.35 crore in 2020-21,” the Union education ministry’s report released on Thursday stated.
“Notably, GER (gross enrolment ratio) in higher secondary has made significant improvement from 53.8 per cent in 2021-21 to 57.6 per cent in 2021-22,” it stated.
Enrolment of children with special needs in 2021-22 was 22.67 lakh as compared to 21.91 lakh in 2020-21, an improvement of 3.45 per cent.
The report also stated that 95.07 lakh teachers were engaged in school education in 2021-22, out of which over 51 per cent were women.
“In 2021-22, the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) was 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 27 for higher secondary, showing an improvement since 2018-19. The PTR for primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary was 28, 19, 21 and 30, respectively, during 2018-19,” the report stated.
It stated that in 2021-22, over 12.29 crore girls were enrolled in primary to higher secondary, an increase of 8.19 lakh to the enrolment numbers in 2020-21.
In 2021-22, enrolment of scheduled castes students from primary to higher secondary has gone up to 4.83 crore from 4.78 crore in 2020-21, the report stated.
Similarly, number of scheduled tribes students has increased from 2.49 crore in 2020-21 to 2.51 crore in 2021-22, and for other backward caste students, numbers have increased from 11.35 crore to 11.49 crore.
The number of schools in 2021-22 was 14.89 lakh as compared to 15.09 lakh in 2020-21. The decline is mainly due to closure of private and other management schools and grouping and clustering of schools by various states, the report stated.
In UDISE+ 2021-22, additional data on important indicators such as digital library, peer learning, hard spot identification, number of books available in school library have been collected for the first time to align with the new National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 initiatives.