Enrolment per school in Himachal 3rd lowest in country

Subhash Rajta

Shimla, November 21

The enrolment per school in Himachal Pradesh is the third lowest in the country.

As per the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report for 2021-22, the average enrolment count is 80 in the state, way lower than the national average of 178. Only Ladakh (61) and Mizoram (79) have lower enrolment per school than the state.

Amarjeet Sharma, Director, Higher Education, blamed the demographic and topographic features of the state for the low enrolment. "As compared to other states, the density of population of the school-going children in the state is quite low. And that gets reflected in the low enrolment per school," Sharma said.

"Another reason for the low enrolment per school

is the mushrooming of private institutions with little infrastructural facilities. Several private schools are running from just two-three rooms. They have low enrolment, which pulls down the overall enrolment per school," he added.

The low enrolment reflects in the pupil-teacher ratio as well, which is among the lowest in the country at 14. It's exactly half the national average, which stands at 28. Only Ladakh (10), Mizoram (13) and Sikkim (10) have the lower pupil-teacher ratio than the state.

"As per the Right to Education Act, there has to be a primary school within 1.5 km for children. So, many schools that have been opened to comply with this direction have meagre enrolment," Sharma added.

"There are several schools in interior areas where we have just a couple of children. The topography is such that children can't access a school a little further away from their homes," he said.

Sharma further said the real-time data could be quite different from that offered by the report. "It has data until September 2021. In the past one year, several indicators would have improved."

He asserted that there's no government school in the state without a toilet. "When a school is upgraded, for instance from primary to middle, a few more rooms and toilet have to be constructed. Even if the toilet for the upgraded section is yet to be constructed, the students are using the washrooms of the primary section on the same campus," Sharma said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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