Over 20K schools shut down in India during 2020-21, number of teachers declined by 1.95 pc: Ministry of Education

NEW DELHI — More than 20,000 schools shut down across the country during 2020-21 while the number of teachers also declined by 1.95 pc in comparison to the previous year, according to a new report by the Ministry of Education.

The Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report on school education in India for 2021-22 also pointed out that only 44.85 per cent schools had computer facilities while nearly 34 per cent had internet connection.

“Total number of schools in 2021-22 stood at 14.89 lakhs as compared to 15.09 lakhs in 2020-21. The decline in total schools is mainly due to closure of schools under private and other management,” said the report launched on Thursday.

While only 27 per cent schools have special toilets for children with special needs (CSWN), over 49 per cent of them have ramps with handrails, it said.

Detailing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on enrolment, the report said, “Although the impact of Covid is cross-cutting, this is particularly noticed in the enrolment of young and vulnerable kids like pre-primary classes.

“This decline may be attributed to postponement of admissions due to COVID-19”.

In 2021-22, enrolment of students in school education from primary to higher secondary was around 25.57 crore. This is higher by 19.36 lakh as compared to the enrolment of students in 2020-21, the report said.

According to the report, the total number of teachers also declined by 1.95 per cent in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21. The total number of teachers in 2021-22 was 95.07 lakh, decreasing from 97.87 lakh in 2020-21, it said.

“The percentage of teachers teaching only primary (34.4 pc in 2021-22 from 35.4m pc in 2020-21) and only upper primary (18.9 pc in 2021-22 from 21.5 pc in 2020-21) has reduced.

The decrease in teachers during 2021-22 as against previous year was 0.9 pc in government schools, 1.45 pc in government aided schools, 2.94 pc in private schools and 8.3 pc in other schools, it said.

In UDISE+ 2021-22, additional data on important indicators such as digital library, peer learning, hard spot identification, number of books available in school library, etc have been collected for the first time to align with the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 initiatives. — (PTI)