Budget 2018: The quantitative indicators of education in the country have made significant progress at the elementary school level, said the Economic Survey. The indicators include student-classroom-ratio (SCR) , pupil-teacher-ratio (PTR). The Survey noted improvements in enrollment levels, completion rates and other physical infrastructure such as construction of school buildings, drinking water facilities and teacher appointments at elementary levels. While SCR is the average number of students per classroom — which ideally should be 30 — in each school every year, PTR should be 30:1 and 35:1 at primary and upper primary level, respectively. The country’s PTR was at 23:1 at national level for primary schools in 2015-16 and though SCR has improved in all states, there are variations.
“At all-India level, percentage of schools with SCR greater than 30 students declined from 43% in 2009-10 to 25.7% in 2015-16,” said the Survey, adding that states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have higher share of schools with PTR more than 30 and it needs to be assessed if this is owing to shortage of teachers or deployment issue of teachers. In some of these states, PTR is well above 60.
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Nevertheless, India’s PTR is at par with countries with similar socio-economic indicators such as China (16.3:1), Brazil (20.9:1), Russia (19.8:1) and South Africa (33.6:1). The global average of PTR in 2015 was 23.4:1.
In addition, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) indicating enrollment of girls, too, has improved at primary and secondary levels. However, gender disparities still prevail in higher education. “With consistent efforts by the government through programmes like Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao, the GPI has improved substantially at the primary and secondary levels of enrolment,” the Survey added.