BHUBANESWAR: Several schools were closed down and enrollment of students dipped by 4 per cent during the pandemic in the state. This was revealed in the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2021-22 report, published by the Ministry of Education on Thursday.
Around 1,894 schools in the state, both government and private, shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the State had 64,185 schools from primary to higher secondary level in 2020-21, the latest report of 2021-22 puts the number at 62,291. The enrollment of students now is 75,76,893 while it was 79,12,588 during the preceding academic year, a decrease of 3.35 lakh (4.24 per cent) students.
Although the impact of Covid-19 on admission of students was felt across all school levels, the enrollment gap in both government and private schools was wide at pre-primary level. While in 2020-21 academic session, 20,042 children were enrolled in pre-primary stage in government schools, the number came down drastically to just 2,278 in 2021-22. Similarly, the difference in enrollment in private schools was almost 69,000. Educationists attributed the drop to postponement of school admission of young children during pandemic.
Interestingly, enrollment of children with special needs (CWSN) from class I to VIII saw a 50 per cent rise during the same period. In terms of gross enrollment ratio, the UDISE report showed there was a four-point drop (80.3) in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21 (84.5) at secondary level, it came down to 43.6 at higher secondary level against 46.4 in 2020-21. And 27.3 per cent of students of class IX and X dropped out compared to 16 per cent in 2020-21. The report stated that of the 62,291 schools in the state, 47,747 had functional electricity.
State improves its scores in education evaluation
Bhubaneswar: Odisha has attained the second best rating of Level-3 (L3) in the Union Education Ministry’s Performance Grading Index (PGI), 2020-21, which was released on Thursday. It has secured 10th rank among the top-10 states that performed well in the PGI. According to the report, Odisha, along with six other states, scored marks within a band of 851 to 900. Its total marks for 2020-21 is 877 while it was 838 in the year 2019-20 and 749 the preceding year.