A survey conducted recently by Praja Foundation as part of the ‘First Annual Report on the State of Public School Education in Delhi’ revealed some shocking figures regarding school education in the national capital. The survey was conducted across 1,709 MCD and 1,009 government schools in the national capital.
It mentioned that many students of Class 9 and 11 of Delhi government and MCD schools are not intentionally promoted to higher classes so that the respective school or institutes’ pass percentage remain high as per Class 10 and 12 board exam results. And this is not the case only with the Delhi Government schools, the same prevails even in the school of NCR region too. The schools, irrespective of the hard work put in by the students, do not promote them and simply ruin the career of the students.
It might be possible that some of the students may be slightly weak in studies, but holding the promotion of so many students at a given point of time, simply reflect that teachers are not able to completely do justice with their job. Their complete inclination is towards the intelligent students or those who are taking tuition classes from them. So much is the situation that parents feel so embarrass that the last option they are left with is to withdraw the admission of the child and get them enrolled in the open schooling because which parent will want to ruin a year of his/ her child. Along with the weak and the intelligent students, there are average students also in the class, who also do not get promoted intentionally by the school so that their own performance in the Boards do not go down. This raises serious doubts about the quality of education being given at these schools.
For instance, in the year 2013-14, 17 percent students did not get promoted to Class 10 from Class 9. In 2014-15, this figure was 45 percent, while in 2015-16, it stood at 50 percent. Likewise, for Class 12, the percentage of students held back in 2013-14 was 23. This percentage was 35 in 2014-15 and 20 in 2015-16.
Explaining the trend, Founder and Managing Trustee of Praja Foundation Nitai Mehta, said, “This may be happening because schools think that if they promote these children to Class 10 and 12 then their own performance percentage will go down. This raises serious doubts about the quality of education being given at these schools.” To improve the quality of education in government schools, the need of the hour is the “focus on tracking and improving learning outcomes, increasing teacher and administrative accountability and empowering local communities to participate through School Management Committees.”
The survey shows further that there is also a consistent drop in student enrolments in MCD and Delhi government schools as well as a rise in dropout percentage. For example, total student enrollments in MCD schools fell by 5 percent from 8,69,540 in 2013-14 to 8,18,707 in 2015-16, while in the state government schools, student enrollment dropped by 6 percent from 15,92,813 in 2013-14 to 14,92,132 in 2015-16. On the other hand, the number of students enrolled in Class 1 registered a decline of 27 percent in five years, recording 1,69,215 in 2010-2011 and 1,23,325 in 2015-2016.
In terms of pass percentage, the state government schools recorded a decline of nearly 10 percent in Class 10 from 99.09 percent in March 2011 to 89.25 percent in March 2016, Class 12 saw a marginal improvement by over a percent from 87.54 percent in March 2011 to 88.91 percent in 2016. Not only this, even the pass percentage for Class 12 in 2016 for state government schools is higher than private schools, however, by more than 2 percent.