Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 18
With enrolment dipping every year, Haryana has 20,000 surplus classrooms at elementary level (classes 1 to 8), according to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
The fact came to light in the minutes of a meeting of Samagra Shiksha’s Project Approval Board (PAB) with Haryana Government officials held on May 16. The minutes were released on July 16.
In view of the surplus classrooms, Haryana has been requested to be careful “in the future while making demands for additional infrastructure”.
As many as 20.36 lakh students were enrolled in 2013-14 in classes 1 to 8 but the number fell by 3.87 per cent in 2014-15 to 19.58 lakh. In 2015-16, there was a dip of 16.64 per cent from the previous year as only 16.32 lakh students were enrolled. In 2016-17, enrolment further dipped by 6.45 per cent to 15.26 lakh. The decline in 2017-18 was 0.89 per cent as 15.13 lakh students got enrolled.
Private schools showed a consistent rise in enrolment during the same period. The figures for 2018-19 are being compiled and have not been finalised yet. As many as 46 primary and upper primary schools showed zero enrolment in 2016-17. In 2017-18, there were 34 such schools.
A total of 466 (primary and upper primary) schools enrolled less than 15 students in 2016-17, and the next year the figure of such schools was 460.
The state has told the HRD Ministry that the department has merged same campus schools having enrolment of less than 20. In the next phase, schools with less than 25 students will be merged and students will be provided transport facility from current year wherever required.
Further, the enrolment in classes 9 to 12 dipped by 1.08 per cent in 2014-15, 7.31 per cent in 2015-16 and 0.26 per cent in 2016-17, but rose by 1.62 per cent in 2017-18.
The state government was told that “work has not been started for construction of 93 additional classrooms, 32 boys’ toilets and 10 girls’ toilets at elementary level, and for 107 additional classrooms, 36 science lab, 39 libraries, 45 art or craft rooms, 3 girls’ hostels and 35 computer rooms at secondary level.
“State may take up these pending civil works on priority and ensure their completion,” say the minutes.
In Nuh district, 87 per cent schools at primary level (classes 1 to 5) and 88 per cent schools at upper primary level (classes 6 to 8) have adverse pupil-teacher ratio (PTR). The PTR in Haryana is 1 teacher required for 25 students.
“The GPI (gender parity index) is also very low in the district — 0.55 at secondary level and 0.49 at senior secondary level. State is requested to take special initiatives in Nuh district to improve the PTR and GPI,” say the minutes.
The GPI is a ratio of female to male number in a class. If it is 1, there is parity of male and female, but if it is lesser than 1, there is disparity in the favour of boys.
Haryana was told that it had not implemented Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in 434 elementary schools and 134 secondary schools. The PAB approved the budget of Rs 1,299.78 crore for Haryana.
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