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    HimachalEnrolment witnessing sharp dip, govt schools becoming ‘unviable’ in Himachal Pradesh

    Enrolment witnessing sharp dip, govt schools becoming ‘unviable’ in Himachal Pradesh


    The declining student enrollment trend in government schools across Pradesh over the past two decades has raised serious concerns among officials. According to data provided by the state Education Department, student numbers have dropped dramatically in both primary and upper primary sections when compared to enrollment figures from 2003-2004.

    In primary schools (Classes 1 to 5), enrollment has fallen from around 600,000 students 20 years ago to just 280,000 currently – a steep decline of over 50%. Similarly, enrollment in upper primary (Classes 6 to 8) has dropped from 375,000 to 200,000 during this period, declining by over 45%.

    Education Secretary Rakesh Kanwar acknowledged the problem, stating “The declining enrollment has made many of our schools unviable. We flagged this issue recently with the Union Secretary of Education.” Official statistics reveal the scale of the challenge – over 2,100 primary schools now have less than 10 students, while 379 upper primary schools are in the same situation.

    Private schools, on the other hand, have witnessed substantial growth, with their primary section enrollment almost tripling over the past 20 years. They have also significantly increased their upper primary student numbers. While declining birth rates have contributed somewhat, the mass exodus of students to private alternatives appears to be the biggest driver of the government school enrollment crisis.

    Officials are worried as the issue affects not just remote tribal areas but also more developed regions like Una and Kangra. Initiatives to form “cluster schools” and introduce English instruction from Class 1 aim to arrest the trend, but turning the government school outlook from “unviable” to viable again remains an immense challenge for the hill state.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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