Student no. falls by 317k in 2 yrs

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Aug 21, 2014-

Despite an increment in net enrolment and the number of schools, the total number of students at the school level has been decreasing in the past two years. Total enrolment has dropped by about five percent in the period.

A flash report—document presenting overall statistics of school education—published by Department of Education shows the number of students has declined by 317,084 since the academic session 2011. It showed 7,444,134 were enrolled into the school system in 2011 which fell by 166,202 to 7,277,932 in the next academic session. Last session, the number went further down by 150,882 to 7,127,050 though net enrolment, number of schools and class promotion rate went up significantly.

The report released last week shows net enrolment rate reached 96.3 percent in 2013 from 95.6 percent in 2012 in grade one while the promotion rate at primary level shot up to 75.4 percent from 72.4 percent. The number of schools rose by 441 to 35,223 in the one-year period.

Education experts attribute a crackdown on fake schools to the decline. The Ministry of Education scrapped the licence of 600 schools last year after the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority found that they reported hundreds of fake students to receive per head funds from the government. “The tendency of presenting exaggerated data to receive per capita funding led to the inflated numbers earlier,” said Bishnu Karki, an education expert. “I believe there are still around one million fake students.”

However, officials say the decrease in population growth rate caused by a massive outflow of migrant workers is to blame for the drop in student number. According to Lava Deo Awasthi, director general of the department, the crackdown on fake schools alone did not account for the fall.

Karki said the fall in student number has rendered a large number of teachers without work so the government should cut their quota. The teacher-student ratio stands at 1:40 at present. If the student number fell by 300,000, the government should cut 7,500 teachers’ posts based on the ratio.

Published: 22-08-2014 08:59

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