Skip to main content

Children enrolled in private schools up from 22 to 30% in 10 yrs, learning levels stagnate

By Our Representative
In a clear indication that the Government of India and state governments have been refusing to encourage government schools, which should be their primary responsibility in the educational sector, the latest Annual Survey of Education Report, released by high-profile NGO Pratham, has regretted that, over the last one decade, “while the productivity of the government school system has declined overall, the effectiveness of the private schools has not changed as dramatically.”
Providing data to prove its point, the report states, “In 2008, 68% Std V children in private schools could read a Std II level text. This went down to 61% in 2012 and then went up again to 65% by 2018.” At the same time, it says, “In 2008, the percentage of Std II level readers in government schools was at 53%, or 15 percentage points lower than the 68% children in private schools. By 2018, this gap has widened to 21 percentage points on a national scale.”
This happened even as “the proportion of children enrolled in private schools in rural India has gone up from 22% in 2008 to 30% in 2018”, the report notes.
As in reading, the report says, the proportion of children who can solve division sums (all basic arithmetic operations) may have almost doubled between Std V and VIII in government schools, while in this proportion may have also increased.
However, the report underlines, “Between 2008 and 2018, the proportion of ‘division solvers’ in Std V in government schools went down from 34% to 22.7%.”
According to the report, “The decline, post 2010, was coming entirely from government schools, with learning levels in private schools holding up or improving slightly. While children did learn as they progressed through school, these learning trajectories were fairly flat. Even in Std VIII close to a fourth of the children were not fluent readers.”
This happened at a time when “there was a year on year increase in private school enrollment” till 2014, seems to have stopped now, says the report, adding, “Between 2006 and 2014 private school enrollment increased steadily from 18.7% to 30.8%. Since then, it has remained at about the same level, i.e. 30.6% in 2016 and 30.9% in 2018.”
 The report believes, while “on the face of things, private schools consistently perform better than government schools”, this is “not a fair comparison because of the self-selection associated with children who attend private schools.”
It underlines, “It is well known that children who go to private schools come from relatively affluent backgrounds and tend to have more educated parents. This affords them certain advantages that aid learning.” However, it notes, “These advantages are not available to children who are from less advantaged families and are more likely to attend government schools.”
“Once we control for these factors that affect learning, the gap in reading or math levels between children attending different types of schools narrows considerably”, the report believes.
“Be that as it may”, the report says, “Between 2009 and 2014 the gap between the government and private school outcomes was increasing, even after controlling for other factors outside the school. Government school learning levels were declining and private school outcomes were holding steady or improving. As rural India became more prosperous, parents began to shift their children to private schools, reflected in rising private school enrollments. The pool of children that government schools were drawing their students from thus became steadily more disadvantaged.”
“Since 2014, however”, the report points out, “With outcomes in government schools improving, the gap between government and private schools has narrowed or remained constant. This is true for both reading and math in Std III and Std V. In addition, the contribution of home factors to children's learning outcomes, which had increased between 2009 and 2014, has also remained about the same since then.”
The report asserts, “So, while children in private schools continue to outperform their government school peers, at least the gap between the two seems to have stabilized. From an equity point of view this is certainly a step in the right direction.”
However, it says, “The fact that we are seeing some improvement in learning outcomes now is a welcome change, assuming that the improvement will continue. But, first of all, the positive change is slow and uncertain. It has to be understood that we are struggling even with basic literacy and numeracy.” It emphasizes, “We are far from becoming an educated nation.”
The report further states, while the percentage of children (age 6-14) enrolled in private school was 30.6% in 2016 and is almost unchanged at 30.9% in 2018, “The national average hides changes in private school figures across states.”
Thus, it says, “There has been a decline in private school enrollment of more than 2 percentage points over 2016 levels in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Kerala. An increase of more than 2 percentage points over 2016 is visible in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat. Most states in the north-east, other than Mizoram, see an increase in private school enrollment between 2016 and 2018.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

'Discussed' with Modi, Gujarat Rann Sarovar proposal for Kutch runs into rough weather

By Rajiv Shah
Top Saurashtra industrialist Jaysukhbhai Patel’s by now controversial proposal to convert the 4,900 sq km Little Rann of Kutch area, an eco-sensitive zone – a UNESCO biosphere, world’s only wild ass reserve, and a nesting ground of lesser flamingoes – into a huge sweet water lake, called Rann Sarovar, has suffered a major roadblock. At least three Central agencies have expressed serious doubts about its feasibility.