New Delhi: The number of government schools in India is decreasing continuously. Since 2018, it declined by over 51,000.
As per the school education department’s United District Information System for Education (UDISE) Plus reports, the number of government schools declined from 1,083,678 in 2018-19 to 1,032,049 in 2020-21. Out of the total schools closed, most of them are primary schools.
In 2016, a group of government secretaries decided that schools with less students must be merged with other schools located nearby.
As some states are following the policy of merger aggressively, the number of government schools is declining in the country.
In Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 26,074 and 22,904 schools respectively were shut from September 2018 to September 2020. The decline was also witnessed in Odisha and some other states.
However, some states including West Bengal and Bihar saw a slight rise in a number of government schools. In Bengal, the number increased from 82,876 to 83,379, while in Bihar, it climbed from 72,590 to 75,555.
Meanwhile, the number of private schools in the country increased from 325, 760 in 2018-19 to 340, 753 in 2020-21.
Although, the reports did not mention the reason for the decline in government schools in the country, education activists blamed the central and state governments.
Some of the activists said that the situation may become worse in the coming decades and the government school system may come to an end.