Meaning of increasing enrollment in government schools
In the eyes of educationists and social scientists, all the governments claiming public welfare kept ordering private schools not to take fees during the Corona period, not to expel the children who could not pay the fees, but in reality, private schools continued their arbitrariness.
The deteriorating condition of government education since liberalization has been a cause of concern.
Because of this, only those parents have been enrolling their children in the government system, whose financial condition is not able to bear the huge expenses of private schools or who have no other option in front of them.
As a result, the enrollment of students in government schools has been decreasing continuously.
But due to Corona, there is a change in this situation. According to the recently released Annual Status of Education (ASER) report, enrollment in government schools has increased by about five per cent as compared to the previous year.
In the year 2020-21, where the enrollment rate of children in government schools was 65.8 per cent, which increased to 70.3 per cent in 2021-22.
The question is whether people’s trust in the government system is increasing or is there better education in government schools than private schools?
In the eyes of educationists and sociologists, both are certainly not the case.
All the governments claiming public welfare kept ordering private schools not to take fees during the Corona period, not to expel the children who could not pay the fees, but in reality, the private schools continued their arbitrariness.
Some state governments, including Delhi, directed private schools to charge only tuition fees, against which the organization of Delhi schools reached the Delhi High Court.
Interestingly, the High Court lifted the ban on the collection of fees by the schools and allowed them to charge development fees as well.
As a result, the well-known public schools of Delhi are trying to complete the efforts of the last two years in the last six months of the current session.
The state government has not challenged this decision of the Delhi High Court in the Supreme Court, so the parents are forced to pay a huge amount.
At least government schools are far from this situation. No hidden amount is to be recovered from them as fees.
Those parents who have lost their income or have lost their jobs have increased their trust in government schools. As enrollment in government schools has increased, it is clear that its impact is visible in the form of a decline in enrollment in private schools.
Enrollment in private schools has declined from 32.5 per cent in 2018 to 28.8 per cent in 2020 and 24.4 per cent in 2021.
There has been a significant increase in enrollment in government schools in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala during Corona.
Both the states have shown an increase of 13.2 and 11.9 per cent in 2021 as compared to 2018. Similarly, in South India, government schools in all states except Telangana have more than eight per cent enrollment.
However, the number of girls in this increase is much higher than that of boys.
According to the ASER report, the enrollment of children in the age group of 15 to 16 years in government schools, which was 57.4 per cent in 2018, increased to 67.4 per cent in 2021.
From 43.1 per cent in 2018 to 56.3 per cent in 2021, the enrollment of children in the age group of six to 14 years in Uttar Pradesh in government schools has increased.
Such a big change is not visible in other states. Online education increased due to the closure of schools during the Covid period.
Smartphone access is available to only 63.7 per cent of government school-going children, while more than 79 per cent of private school children have a smartphone.
The increasing enrollment of children in government schools has increased the pressure on them to provide quality education, while not having a smartphone for a quarter of the children can be a problem for the system.
Obviously, in both situations, the responsibility increases on the system and the system itself. For the better future of future India, it has to deal with them efficiently.