There are frequent bad news reports regarding the quality of education in India such as ASER 2012, but there are reasons to be hopeful too. I get elated when I watch some advertisement on TV channels about e-learning such as one from Tata Class Edge or programmes on Topper channels. Even some responsible individuals and institutions such as Premji Foundation or Pratham are doing wonderful work in the area of educating deprived children in rural or slum areas in different parts of this big country.
However, here are some data that may help the policy makers and grassroots workers:
1.The number of school children is a mind boggling 226.7 million school students and as many as 1.3 million schools which means that on the average there was a school for every 173 students.
2. Out of 1.3 million schools, the largest segment was the primary schools (with classes from I-V) which accounted for 0.75 million or 58% of the total schools. Upper primary schools (classes VI to VIII) accounted for 0.36 million or another 28% of the total schools. Secondary schools (classes IX to X) were 0.11 million or 9% of the total schools while higher secondary schools were 0.06 or just 4.9% of the total schools.
3. In the case of primary schools, as many as 670,799 or around 88% of the total schools had proper buildings and only 11,513 were in held in open space.
4. The pupil teacher ratio was at healthy levels with the numbers ranging from 32 students per teacher in primary schools, 31 students per teacher in upper primary schools, 28 students per teacher in secondary schools and 34 students per teacher in upper secondary schools.
5. In the primary schools with out of a total teacher population of 2.39 million teachers as many as 1.84 million or 77.1% were full time teachers. Para or contract teachers numbered only 0.54 million or 22.9% of the total.
6. 12.7% of the primary schools of India had only one teacher while another 39.1% had only two teachers. This means that an overwhelming 51.8% or more than half the primary schools in the country had two teachers or less.
7. Over 90% of schools in India are either run directly by the government or are government funded.
8. For the six to 14 age group, enrollment in private schools across the country has increased from 18.7% in 2006 to 28.3% in 2012.
9. “If this trend continues, by 2018 India may have 50% of children attending private schools even in rural areas.”
10. In the U.S. more than 80% of children attend public schools and in U.K., this number is over 90%.
11. The government’s spending on education in financial year 2012 increased to 3.35% of GDP from 2.62% in 2005.
12. Over 60 million children will soon be entering colleges and that 700-800 universities need to be founded in the next 10 years.
13. The Indian higher education system has emerged as one of the largest in the world, with 14.6 million students enrolled in more than 31,000 institutions, according to an Ernst & Young report on education. Over the past decade, the number of universities in the country has increased at a CAGR of 7.5% (from 272 to 556) while the number of colleges has grown at a CAGR of 11% (from 11,146 to 31,324).
14. India goal is to get at least 30% of India’s 240 million schoolchildren into higher education over the next decade, up from the 12.4% currently. “Any nation must ensure that a critical mass of people move into the university system — not less than 30-40%.
15. India currently has 480 universities and 22,000 colleges. In the next 10 years, it will need 700 new universities and 35,000 new colleges.
16. China is setting up a new university each month to support between 20,000 and 30,000 students each.
@India still has the world’s largest number of illiterates at over 250 million. 35% of the world’s illiterate people are in India.
17. 46% of India’s schoolchildren drop out before they get to middle school.
18. A research conducted by IMRB for Pearson, in the Indian K-12 segment while almost 38,000 classrooms have installed whiteboards, less than 52% of the classrooms are able to use them due to mismatched content with the textbook.