The decline in the child population causes a decline in student enrolment.

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An NCERT study predicted that starting in 2011, the overall enrollment in schools will have decreased by more than 14% by 2025, with the enrollment of females declining by over 2% more than that of boys. According to the report of NCERT’s Educational Survey Division (ESD), enrollment for students who belong to the scheduled caste would stay the same for the next five to ten years, whereas enrollment for students who belong to the scheduled tribe will begin to decline after 2023–2024.

According to the report, enrollment is a function of population, therefore a reduction in the number of children between the ages of 6 and 11 years, 11 to 14 years, and 14 to 16 years is reflected in enrollment at each stage. The National Achievement Survey (NAS), carried out by the NCERT, and data from the annual Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) were used in the paper “Projection and Trends of School Enrolment by 2025.” According to the study, “there is substantial variation in the data of the North Eastern states and certain statistics are not available.” The study took into account NAS reports from 21 states with populations of more than 5 million in the 2011 Population Census of India.

“Up until the year 2011, the primary stage enrollment rate grew. Enrollment has decreased since 2011, and this trend will last through 2025. According to the study report, overall enrollment would decline by 14.37% between 2011 and 2025, while enrollment for boys and girls will decline by 13.28% and 15.54%, respectively. “Boys, girls, and the overall percentage of students enrolled in the upper primary stage began to fall starting in 2016. Enrollment fell over this time by 9.47% overall, 8.07% for boys, and 10.94% for all students (girls).

The reduction in enrollment was also noted at the secondary level, although this time it began in 2020, it stated. The pattern of declining school enrollment in the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes was strikingly comparable to that of India. “After 2016–17 and 2017–18, the enrollment of children from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes were largely consistent across all levels for a number of years. It might be brought on by population stagnation, it suggested. According to projections, scheduled caste enrollment would remain stable after 2020–21 for the following five to ten years, whereas scheduled tribe enrollment would plateau after 2023–24.

“Population has an impact on enrollment. The growth in enrollment will be directly proportional to the growth in the child population of that respective age or age group if there is a smaller difference between the enrolment number and child population of that respective age or age group, it was stated. Since 1950, when there were 2,171 schools in the nation and 2.38 crore students, the NCERT report has tracked patterns.

“The study is a result of the PAC program’s goal of forecasting the country’s school enrollment from 2016 to 2025. Indrani Bhaduri, the head of the survey section at the National Council of Educational Research and Training, said, “It would help in identifying the possible trends in school enrolment for boys and girls as well as the underprivileged sectors of society for all the states and UTs in the country” (NCERT). She claimed that the analysis can provide information and assist the government in formulating future educational programmes. According to Bhaduri, “this serves as the foundation for numerous investment decisions, including the building of new schools, upgrading existing ones, employing and deploying instructors, and providing infrastructure.

Mayank Tewari

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