According to the Economic Survey 2021, government schools need additional support in teachers, classrooms and teaching materials to accommodate students migrating from private schools in rural areas due to financial difficulties caused by the Covid pandemic and budget school closures. 22.
The research, based on key findings from the Pratham Foundation-led Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), recognizes that extended periods of school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a stark digital divide are having a “significant impact” has had on the education sector affecting many schools and colleges across the country.
“The pandemic has had a significant impact on the education system, affecting many schools and colleges across India. As Ministry of Education data is only available up to 2019-20, the impact of the pandemic on enrollment and dropout rates during pandemic years, 2020 and 2021, could not be assessed from comprehensive official data. So policymakers have taken alternative sources into account,” the economic survey said.
The survey, submitted on Monday, quoted ASER data and said children in rural areas have moved from private schools to government schools, regardless of age groups. And the possible reasons are likely to be closed from cheap private schools, financial distress of parents, families migrating back to villages.
“If the trend continues, public schools should be equipped with additional support, in terms of teacher-pupil ratio, classroom space and teaching/learning materials, to accommodate students migrating from private schools and from urban to rural areas,” it added. .
The ASER report, which was based on a September-October 2021 telephone survey of 75,234 children ages 5-16 in 581 rural districts, had underlined a “clear shift” from private to government schools: from 64.3 percent in 2018 to 65.8 percent in 2020 to 70.3 percent in 2021, and a drop in private school enrollment from 28.8 percent in 2020 to 24.4 percent in 2021.