The country saw an increase in the number of schools and teachers, but drinking water, toilets and playgrounds are still wanting, says NCERT data

There was an increase of 26.77 per cent in the total number of schools in the country between 2002 and 2009. The maximum growth rate was witnessed in upper primary schools (49.15 per cent) followed by higher secondary schools (46.80 per cent), secondary by 28.95 and primary by 16.68 per cent.

The provisional flash statistics from 8th All India Education Survey (AISES) released by the National Council of Education, Research and Training (NCERT) suggest that one-fifth of the total primary schools did not have drinking water, three out of ten schools were without usable urinal facilities, and about half of the schools did not have playgrounds between 2002 and 2009.  

The survey would be useful for further monitoring of implementation and assessing the impact of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and other policies, programmes, and interventions, to provide universal access, enrolment, retention and improvement of quality in elementary education and planning for Universalization of Secondary Education, reflect the status of school education in rural areas.

There were 22,89,94,454 students enrolled in different recognised schools of the country. Over 13.67 per cent growth rate was reckoned in student’s enrolment from Class I-XII, while 19.12 per cent increase was recorded in girl’s enrolment.

The percentage of girl’s enrolment to the total enrolment in that stage decreases as it goes higher in school stage. Percentage is highest at primary stage that is 48.13 per cent whereas it is 42.56 per cent at higher secondary stage. Similar trend is observed in percentage of girl’s enrolment in schools in rural areas.

The All India Education Survey (AISES) being conducted by NCERT is the most comprehensive national-level survey covering the school education system  with respect to access, enrolment, retention, participation in school process, equity, teachers, and availability of  basic facilities. The most important strength of this survey is that it captures details till the level of habitations, the smallest-possible population pockets.

Further, there was 30 per cent increase in number of teachers in the country. The growth of teachers in higher secondary schools increased by 34 per cent during this period while number of teachers almost doubled at higher secondary schools.

Pupil–teacher ratio also improved significantly in primary, upper primary and secondary schools. The significant change is observed in primary schools where the ratio has declined from 42:1 to 32:1 at the national level.

The Survey captures more than 13 lakhs (13, 06,992) recognised schools across the country in each habitation, village and urban areas, out of which more than 84.14 percent schools in rural areas. The data includes availability of schooling facilities in habitations at primary and upper primary stages; unrecognised schools having primary/upper primary classes in rural area along with enrolment; number of schools belonging to various categories and management; schools according to the type of buildings; availability of basic facilities like drinking water, usable urinal, playground within school premises in different categories of schools in rural as well as urban areas;  enrolment of students in different categories of schools; class-wise enrolment and teachers in position in different categories of schools.

The Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2012, released last week has said 73 per cent schools in the rural India has drinking water facilities, 56 per cent schools has usable toilet facilities and 48 per cent schools has separate toilet facilities for girls.

The ASER report said 42.8 per cent school complied with the RTE norms between 2012-2012. All schools have to comply with nine indicators, including that of infrastructure and teacher: pupil ratio by March 31, this year.

It said enrolment level for 6-14 years group continues to be high with 96.5 per cent of children in this age group enrolled in school. However, the proportion of children not enrolled went up from 3.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.5 per cent in 2012 with the increase being largest for girls in the 11-14 age group.