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16th November 2023 (10 Topics)

India Has Five Times the Number of Schools than China: NITI Aayog Report

Context:

Recently released NITI Aayog report titled ‘Learnings from Large-scale Transformation in School Education’ has highlighted that India continues to have five times the number of schools than China for the same enrolment of students. 

Observations in the report:

  • Over 50 per cent of primary schools across many states in India have an enrolment of less than 60.
  • Problems identified:
  • The cost of such sub-scale schools in the form of extensive multi-grade teaching,
  • lack of a student and parent community that can demand account ability,
  • Poor infrastructure and
  • Less Teacher-student ratio.
  • When compared with China, in China are closing or merging because of tighter regulation, a slowing economy and dwindling foreign student numbers.
  • The report also has information about the efforts to develop leader schools.

Recommendations of the report:

  • The report suggested school mergers as a solution to addressing the lack of enrolments in schools.
  • As per the report, such solution has been executed across SATH-E states and has given favorable results in filling up the enrolments in schools. 
  • Apart from mergers, the states can also develop a set of large schools with at least 10-20 per cent spread across the state. These schools can be integrated K-12 schools and should provide transport so that all students can equitably access them. 
  • This has been recommended in the NEP too with the call to setup large school complexes. The report documents details for how school consolidation efforts were undertaken in all three Project SATH-E states and their learnings.
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