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Student strength in Punjab govt schools rose during pandemic year, reveals RTI

While the student strength in government schools was at 25.63 lakh in 2019-20, it was 26.78 lakh in 2020-21 - the pandemic year.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
March 28, 2021 12:31:07 pm
All this thanks to Punjab Education Department’s efforts over the past four years to increase enrolment in the government schools that clearly seem to be bearing fruit. (Representational)

Even amid the throes of the pandemic, Punjab has managed not only to retain the number of students on the rolls of its government schools, but has, in fact, increased the number by over a lakh. While the student strength in government schools was at 25.63 lakh in 2019-20, it was 26.78 lakh in 2020-21 – the pandemic year.

Also, student strength in Punjab government schools in the pandemic year was the second highest in the last decade at 26.78 lakh (2020-21), and an increase of 3.86 lakh students compared to the 2017-18 figure of 22.91 lakh.

All this thanks to Punjab Education Department’s efforts over the past four years to increase enrolment in the government schools that clearly seem to be bearing fruit.

Information obtained by RTI activist Parvinder Singh Kittna that student strength in Punjab’s Primary, Middle, High government schools was 22,91,840 in 2017-18 which has gone up to 26,78,399 in 2020-21.

Going by the RTI information in past decade the enrolment in 2020-21 was the second highest. The highest ever student strength figure in the government schools in the last decade was 26,99,771 in the year 2012-13. As it got down to 26,41,216 in 2013-14, then fell to 25,68,933 in 2014-15, and 24,82,873 in 2015-16. It was 23,79,136 in 2016-17 and the lowest of the decade was 22,91,840 in 2017-18.

In 2010-11 and 2011-12 there were 25.37 lakh and 26.49 lakh students in the government schools, respectively.

Punjab Education Secretary Krishan Kumar, who has joined the department in 2017-18 academic session, had launched door-to-door enrolment drive and he even himself went door-to-door with the government schools teachers and motivated parents.

Kittna said that as per the RTI information during the SAD-BJP government’s second term the strength of the students had gone down by 4,07,931 and now 3,86,559 students have already increased.

He, however, said that in the past one decade total 638 schools have been closed (as several of them have merged with other schools), including 443 in SAD-BJP’s tenure and 195 during Congress regime.

There are a total 17,167 government schools in the state currently, including 12,831 primary, 2,648 Middle and 1,688 High schools.

Meanwhile the Education department spokesperson said that the Education department is going to launch ‘Navian Pairhaan’ on DD Punjabi from March 27 to convey the message of achievements and changes in the infrastructure of government schools. The programme will be telecast every Saturday and Sunday from 3.30 pm to 4.00 pm. He said that the increase in enrollment in government schools last year is a result of the transformation of the school structure.

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