Delhi Government Schools Witness a Decline in Student Enrollment
The education landscape in Delhi has seen a significant shift in recent years, with the number of students in government schools experiencing a notable decline. According to a response to a Right to Information (RTI) application, the current academic year, 2023-24, has witnessed a decrease of more than 30,000 students compared to the previous session.
In the 2022-23 academic session, Delhi government schools had a total enrollment of 17,89,385 students. However, in the current academic year, this number has dropped to 17,58,986, marking a decline of 30,399 students. The Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi, provided this information in response to an RTI application, shedding light on the evolving educational landscape in the city.
Varied Trends Across Districts
The decline in student enrollment is not uniform across all districts and areas of Delhi. Notably, the districts of northwest A and central Delhi have bucked the trend with an increase in student numbers.
In northwest A, the number of students in government schools for the year 2023-24 stands at 1,87,596, compared to 1,81,450 in the previous academic session. Similarly, central Delhi’s government schools have seen an increase in enrollment, with 28,922 students in the current academic year, up from 27,580 in 2022-23.
An anonymous official from the DoE suggested that the surge in admissions during the pandemic era might have contributed to the initial increase. However, as the situation normalized, some students opted to return to private schools. Additionally, academic performance, including student failures, has played a role in the fluctuating numbers.
Changing Enrollment Figures Over the Years
Examining the past four years, the RTI response reveals a fluctuating trend in student enrollment in government schools. In the academic session 2019-20, the number of students stood at 15,05,525. However, during the pandemic, this figure saw a significant increase, reaching 16,28,744 in 2020-21, 17,68,911 in 2021-22, and peaking at 17,89,385 in 2022-23.
Delving deeper, the RTI response provides insights into subject-wise enrollment in class 12. In 2022-23, the number of science stream students was 21,285, which slightly increased to 21,465 in 2023-24. However, the commerce stream witnessed a decline, with enrollment dropping to 26,721 in 2023-24 from 33,006 in the previous academic year. The most significant decrease was observed in the arts stream, where student numbers fell sharply from 1,74,419 in 2022-23 to 1,06,785 in 2023-24, even lower than the figures for the 2020-21 academic session.
Concerns and Perspectives
Notably, Dr. Himanshu Gupta, Director of DoE, and Delhi Education Minister Atishi remained unavailable for comment despite multiple attempts to contact them.
The All India Parents Association (AIPA) has weighed in on the situation, attributing the decline in government school enrollments to deficiencies in the education system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families initially enrolled their children in government schools, only to realize that the quality of education did not meet their expectations. Ashok Aggarwal, President of AIPA and a senior advocate, highlighted issues such as poor education quality, a shortage of regular teachers, and inadequate facilities as reasons prompting students to return to private schools.
As Delhi’s education landscape continues to evolve, addressing these concerns and ensuring the quality of education in government schools will be crucial in shaping the future of the city’s education system.
(This story has not been edited by EducationCenter staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)