Are all our children in school?

Are all our children in school?

Published on :- November 19th, 2021

The opportunity to receive quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and to the sustainable development. The Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4 - Quality Education) aims to ensure the completion of primary and secondary education by all boys and girls. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education. The new National Education Policy of India and SDG 4 share the goals of universal quality education and lifelong learning.

According to Niti Aayog’s latest SDG Index Report (2021), India has an overall SDG index score of 66 out of 100 and a score of 57 for SDG 4 - Quality Education. Kerala, Chandigarh and Delhi are the top three performers in education while Bihar, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh are towards the lower end.

By 2030, one of the targets for India is to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. Enrollment is an important indicator to measure the education outcomes in India.

National Highlights:

India’s Adjusted Net Enrollment Rate (ANER) from 2014-15 to 2018-19 saw an overall drop of 1% point in primary education over the period of six years 2014 to 2020. Enrollment in the upper primary has seen overall growth of two percentage points over the years. Secondary education follows a trend similar to upper primary, with an overall growth of approximately 5.4 percentage points. Except for primary, all the other levels of education see growth in the ANER.

The trend in ANER for girls across all education levels follows the same pattern – it is slightly higher than India’s ANER. This is a positive sign and shows that the efforts for ensuring girls education are in the right direction.

Rural India has a higher percentage share of enrollment. This can be explained by the fact that a larger population lives in rural India( 68.6% population is rural, according to the 2011 Census). We can also see the percentage share shift of 2% toward the urban side in the last five years.

Regional Insights:

Regional analysis for the year 2019-20, shows that ANER for the southern region (Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh) has the highest enrollment rate across all levels of education. The eastern region (Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal) has the lowest enrollment in secondary education. The north-east region has the lowest enrollment in higher secondary education.

The lowest gender gap in ANER at elementary level (grades 1 - 8) of education is in the western region, followed by the southern region (difference of 0.02). The female enrollment rate at elementary level is higher than the male enrollment rate in the western region. However, in the southern region the male enrollment is slightly higher than the female enrollment rate. The highest gender gap is in the northern region of the country followed by the eastern region, where female enrollment rate is higher than the male enrollment.

Lakshadweep, West Bengal, Odisha, Goa have a larger share of students enrolled in Government schools than in private schools. Lakshadweep is the only State/UT to have 100% of its students enrolled in government schools. Haryana, Tripura and Nagaland have more than 60% of their students enrolled in private schools.

Ensuring universal enrollment of the school-age children is just the first step in ensuring good education for all. How is the school infrastructure equipped in the country? How are the learning outcomes looking? What has been the effect of the COVID induced school closures? More analysis to follow, stay tuned!

Click here for more on education - Enrollment and dropout rates - Detailed Report and Education in India: Enrolments & Dropouts (Interactive Dashboard)

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