July 2017 News

Enrolment In Govt Schools Dropped By 23%: CAG

2 July 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Vikas Sharma

Srinagar: The inconsistency in the effective implementation of the mid-day meal scheme by the state government has adversely affected the enrolment of students in the schools, showing a decline of 12.92 lakh in 2010-11 to about 10 lakh in 2011-12 i.e. about 23 per cent. Though there was a decrease in the enrolment to 10.95 lakh in 2013-14, but it again decreased to 10.67 lakh in 2014-15. This has been revealed in the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which claimed that there was a decrease in the enrolment from 13,643 in 2010-11 to 12,290 in 2014-15, a decline of 5 per cent. The report further said the decline in the number of schoolchildren due to a decline in enrolment on the one side and dropping out on the other goes against the primary objective of the scheme of enhancing enrolment of schoolchildren and their retention. It added that the schools attributed the decline in enrolment to the students preferring admission in private schools and migration of nomadic children to hilly areas. As per the mid-day meal guidelines (quality and safety aspects), the teachers under no circumstances are to be assigned responsibilities that will impede or interfere with learning, but that is not the case in the state schools. In all, 226 teachers from 180 schools were found involved in the mid-day meal scheme by devoting time. The CAG observed that this practice was affecting the teaching-learning side of the education system adversely. The schools in the state are also grappling with the shortage of cook-cum-helpers. It can be gauged from the fact that the shortage of cook-cum-helpers ranged between 83 and 119 as against the requirement of 207 and 212 during the period of 2010-15 in the Jammu region. It may be mentioned here that against the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry's Project Approval Board's approval of 33,268 cook-cum-helpers for entire the state, it had engaged 30,530 leaving a difference of 2,738 cook-cum-helpers. With a view to enhance enrolment, retention and attendance besides improving nutritional levels among children, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally sponsored scheme on August 15, 1995. In 2001, the mid-day meal scheme became a cooked mid-day meal scheme under which every child in every government and government-aided primary school is to be served a prepared mid-day meal. Preference for private schools: The drop in the number of schoolchildren due to a decline in enrolment on the one side and dropping out on the other goes against the primary objective of the mid-day meal scheme of increasing the number of students and their retention . The schools attributed the decline in enrolment to the students preferring admissions in private schools and migration of nomadic children to hilly areas. The schools in the state are also grappling with the shortage of cook-cum-helpers.

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