Thiruvananthapuram: There has been a sharp
fall of students enrolling in government and state-aided
schools in Kerala this academic year due to mushrooming of
private English medium educational institutes in the state,
The decline in the number of pupils in government and
state-aided schools came to light during the head-count on the
sixth working day of the academic year yesterday, Directorate
of Public Instructions (DPI) officials said.
The government and state-aided schools together had 44.57
lakh children last year, which has came down to 43.42 lakh
this year, they said.
There has been decline at all three entry levels 1st, 5th
and 8th standards. The fall in children is more in aided
schools than the institutes run directly by the government.
While the number of children in government schools went down
by 34,373, the fall was 87,700 in aided schools, run by
private management with the government paying the salary of
the staff and providing other financial support, they said.
The decline was recorded in all the districts except
Kasargode. It was highest in Thrissur followed by
Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha.
According to demographic experts, the trend was the
result of families becoming smaller in Kerala with most
parents going for two or one child norm increasingly. As the
families become smaller, the parents can easily afford to send
their wards to private schools.
The decline has brought down the teacher: pupil ratio to
1:45, the experts said.
The parents are opting for private English medium schools
for their children without even bothering to find out whether
the institutes are recognised or not, the officials said.
However, the phenomenon is not going to pose any threat
to redundant jobs as it had been a state government policy,
irrespective of the party in power, to protect the jobs of
"excess teachers", they said.