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

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.