THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The number of students enrolled in Class I in the current academic year (2023-24) dropped by over 10,000 compared to the previous year’s figures in government and aided schools, showed the enrolment figures released by the General Education Department. Interestingly, unaided schools following the state syllabus saw new enrolments jump by over 5,000 this year in class one.
In another worrisome trend, the number of newly enrolled students from Classes two to 10 in government and aided schools nosedived to nearly one-third compared to the previous year. While 1.19 lakh new students joined Classes two to 10 in 2022-23, it plummeted to 42,059 students this year.
If the overall figures from Classes 1 to 10 are taken into account, government and aided schools saw enrolments drop by over 94,000 compared to the previous year while unaided schools witnessed admissions increasing by 7,887.
This is in sharp contrast to last year when the General Education Department claimed that unaided schools showed a steady decline in enrolment figures across all classes. Last year, nearly 25% of the new enrolments in government and aided schools were from unaided schools, the department had said.
The enrolment figures this year also show that the overall number of students showed a drop in government schools except in districts such as Kottayam and Ernakulam. Aided schools also showed a drop in student numbers except in Palakkad district.
The highest number of students were enrolled in Malappuram (20.73%) and the least in Pathanamthitta (2.21%). Among the total number of students, 56% (20.96 lakh) belonged to Above Poverty Line (APL) families while the rest (16.49 lakh) were from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families.