‘Children in rural areas preferring pvt schools`

Enrolling in private schools is no more confined to urban centres alone, number of children in rural areas are also preferring the private ones.

New Delhi: Enrolling in private schools is
no more confined to urban centres alone as an education
report, released on Monday, says increasing number of children in
rural areas are also preferring the private ones.

Though the report did not specify any reason for this, it
says enrolment between 6 and 14 age group in private schools
rose from 18.7 per cent in 2006 to 25.6 per cent in 2011 in
all states except Bihar.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for rural
areas 2011 prepared by Pratham, says in states like
Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra
Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur and Meghalaya, there has been an
increase of over 10 per cent points in private school
enrolment in the past five years.

The report released by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, says
between 30 and 50 per cent of children in rural areas of
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir,
Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and
Nagaland are enrolled in private schools.

The report was prepared based on a survey covering 558
districts, over three lakh households and six lakh children
and 16 thousand villages.

Though enrolment in rural areas between 60 and 14 age
group stood at an impressive figure at 96.7 per cent, the
report says attendance has shown a decline from 73.4 per cent
in 2007 to 70.9 per cent in 2011 in rural primary areas.

In Bihar, for example, attendance of children dropped by
nine per cent during the past four years while in Madhya
Pradesh, it dropped from 67 per cent to 54.5 per cent in four
years. In Uttar Pradesh, the decline in attendance was about
seven per cent.

The report said basic reading levels also showed a
decline in many states across north India, with the number of
children in class V able to read class II level dropped from
53.7 per cent in 2010 to 48.2 per cent in 2011.

"Such declines was, however, not visible in southern
states," it said while indicating that the southern states
also fare over the northern states on several other
parameters.

The ASER report also reflected a decline among students
in mathematics level. It said proportion of class III children
able to solve a two-digit subtraction problem with borrowing
has dropped from 36.3 per cent in 2010 to 29.9 per cent in
2011.

Among class V children, it said the ability to do a
similar subtraction problem has dropped from 70.9 per cent in
2010 to 61 per cent in 2011.

Only Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and
northeastern states have shown improvement from last year to
this year, it said.

The report said flow of grants under Sarva Sikshya
Abhiyan improved significantly, especially between 2008-09 and
2009-10.

It indicated a marginal improvement in proportion of
schools complying with RTE norms on pupil-teacher ratio,
better toilet provisions for girls and libraries though it
revealed no major changes in overall supporting infrastructure
over last year.

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