A comparison between the just-released educational survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the most recent Annual Analytical Report by the State Education Department shows that there has been more than a fourfold increase in the number of private unaided primary schools in the State in four years.
According to the All India Education Survey (AISES) conducted by NCERT, which indicates trends from 2002 to 2009, there were 2,532 private unaided primary schools. The Analytical Report for 2011-12, released by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently, shows that there are now 10,960 private unaided primary schools.
On the other hand, the number of government-run primary schools in the same period has less than doubled from 23,253 to 45,200.
The starkest increase, not surprisingly, is in Bangalore Urban district, where NCERT survey identifies 212 unaided primary schools as on September, 2009. The DPI’s Analytical Report shows a more than 10-fold increase in their numbers with 1,377 of them in Bangalore South and 937 in Bangalore North, which together make up Bangalore Urban district.
While there were 707 Government primary schools in Bangalore Urban as on 2009, now there are 1,402 as per the 2011-12 Analytical Report.
Interestingly, it was Belgaum which had the maximum number of unaided primary schools according to NCERT’s data at 259. The DPI’s report shows that the district now has a marginally higher number at 280.
The increase is less sharp at the secondary level, where the number of private unaided schools has gone up from 4,058 across the State to 5,521 now. This clearly shows that it is primary education that has become a prime area for private players in the recent years.
While the boom in the number of privately-owned primary schools in Bangalore is but predictable, a comparison of the figures shows that there has been a huge increase in other districts as well. Kodagu, which had the least number of private primary schools at 18 in 2009, now has 96. The numbers in Bangalore Rural district for the same years has risen from 31 to 164.
The Analytical Report also shows that there has been a lateral shift in admissions from government schools to private schools by about 8 per cent in six years, from 2006-2007 to 2011-12.