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Economic Survey 2018: Significant increase in student-classroom ratios

Student Classroom Ratio and Pupil-Teacher Ratio of government schools have increased at both primary and secondary levels

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Dalip Kumar
Photo: Dalip Kumar

Student Classroom Ratio (SCR) and Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) of the government-run schools have witnessed 'significant progress', the Economic Survey said today.

Besides, Gender Parity Index (GPI) has also improved "substantially" at primary and secondary levels by increasing enrolment of girls, although in higher education, gender disparities still prevail.

India has also improved quantitative indicators such as enrolment levels, completion rates and other physical infrastructure which includes construction of school buildings/classrooms, drinking water facilities, toilet facilities and appointment of teachers at elementary school level.

SCR is defined as an average number of pupils per classroom in a school in a given school-year and the ideal size is 30 students per classroom.

"At all-India level, the percentage of schools with SCR greater than 30 students declined from 43 per cent in 2009-10 to 25.7 per cent in 2015-16," said the tabled in Parliament today.

However, it also added that though SCR has improved in almost all states, there are variations in it.

While India had a PTR of 23:1 at the national level for primary schools in 2015-16, at primary level and upper primary level, the PTR should be 30:1 and 35:1, respectively.

"Data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics on PTR in primary schools shows that India has a national PTR comparable to countries with similar socio-economic indicators," it added.

The global average of PTR in 2015 was 23.4:1. In countries as China, it was 16.3:1, 20.9:1 in Brazil, 19.8:1 in Russia and 33.6:1 in South Africa.

In neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, it was 23.2:1, Nepal 23.1:1 , Bhutan 26.7:1 and Pakistan 46.3:1.

In some states, as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, PTR ratio is above 60, which is very high from the standards.

The Survey further said there is a need to assess whether a higher number of schools having PTR above 30 in four states, including Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, are owing to the shortage of teachers or deployment issues of teachers.

"The recruitment, service conditions and redeployment of teachers are primarily in the domain of respective State Governments and UT Administrations," it said.

The government has also improved GPI at the primary and secondary levels by enrolling more girls. However, in higher education, gender disparities still prevail for which the government is taking continuous efforts to improve.

"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," it added.

First Published: Mon, January 29 2018. 16:36 IST