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More kids in rural areas go to private schools

mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2010 01:30 IST
Bhavya Dore
Bhavya Dore
Hindustan Times
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More children in rural Maharashtra are getting enrolled in private schools over government schools.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-Rural for 2009 prepared by Pratham, a non-governmental organisation, revealed that 28.2 per cent of children (6-14 years) in 33 districts of Maharashtra enrolled in private schools in 2009 as compared to 18.3 per cent in 2006.

Pratham’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Madhav Chavan said more boys are going to private schools compared to girls. He pegged the boy-girl ratio in private schools at 60:40.

Education Minister Balasaheb Thorat released the Maharashtra data of the national education survey at the YB Chavan auditorium on Tuesday. According to the report, rural Maharashtra ranks fifth in the national survey in the number of children enrolled in schools.

The report revealed that 99 per cent of children in rural Maharashtra are enrolled in schools. Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh have fared better than Maharashtra. The national average for student enrolment stands at 96 per cent.

“The figures for Maharashtra are encouraging but we have not progressed dramatically,” Chavan said.

According to the report, 88.8 per cent of Class 1 children in the state can read alphabets in their local language against the national average of 68.8 per cent. This year, 83.3 per cent students in the state could recognise English alphabets as compared to 75 per cent in 2007.

The state has also improved on various other parameters.

More children in higher classes are staying on in school. In the age group of 15-16, only 5.3 per cent students dropped out of school in 2009 as compared to 15.5 per cent in 2006. The overall percentage of out of school children (aged 6-14) dropped from 3.8 per cent in 2006 to one per cent in 2009.

Though enrolment levels are high and learning levels have improved, it’s not all good news. Among the Class 5 students surveyed, 49 per cent could not solve long division sums.