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Student enrolment declines in Odisha government schools

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Bhubaneswar: Despite various schemes were launched to motivate children for admission in government schools, the student enrolment continues to decline in Odisha every year.

The state-run primary schools failed to register large number of student enrolment in past few years whereas the admission rate is higher in private and English-medium schools.

As per data available with School & Mass Education (S&ME) department, total 66,21,741 students were enrolled in the class from I to VIII in the year 2009-10 across the state. Out of total number, 60,72,580 students were studying in government schools and remaining 5,49,161 students were enrolled in private schools.

However, the number of students has declined in state-run schools in 2016-17 as compared to the private schools. While the government schools registered 51,58,905 students out of total 61,98,025, the student enrolment increased by double to 10,39,120 in private schools in Odisha.

The government data showed that the student enrolment in private schools has increased to 102.29% in the past eight years.

Even as the government is spending crores under various schemes including Mid-day Meal, free uniform and free textbooks to improve primary education, it failed to attract the students to study in state-run schools.

Sources said that the faulty schemes, repeated changes in rules, lack of infrastructure and teachers are the reason behind decline of student enrolment in state-run schools.

Further, improper implementation of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, is stated to be the chief reason behind the issue.

If the government takes initiative towards following the Allahabad High Court order making it compulsory for the politicians and bureaucrats to enroll their children in state-run schools, the declining scenario in elementary education may improve, experts suggested.

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