According to an RTI response, the number of students in Delhi government schools has declined by more than 30,000 this academic year compared to the previous session.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students in government schools in the 2022-2023 academic session was 17,89,385, while this academic year it dropped to 17,58,986, which is 30,399 less than the previous session.
The Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi, provided this information in response to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
There are 1,050 government schools in Delhi and 37 ‘Dr BR Ambedkar Schools of Specialized Excellence’ in the national capital.
According to the information received from the DoE, there has been a decline in the number of children in government schools in all districts and areas except northwest A and central Delhi.
The number of students in government schools in North West A was 1,87,596 in 2023-2024, while it was 1,81,450 in 2022-2023. Similarly, the number of students in central Delhi government schools has increased from 27,580 in 2022-23 to 28,922 in the current academic year.
A DoE official, seeking anonymity, said, “During the pandemic, admissions in government schools in Delhi increased. But when the situation became normal, some students moved to private schools again.” He said the ‘failure’ of some students in exams is also a reason for the decline in their numbers.
In the last four years, the number of students in government schools in the 2019-20 academic session was 15,05,525, which increased to 16,28,744 in 2020-21 during the pandemic period; 17,68,911 in 2021-22 and 17,89,385 in 2022-23, the RTI response said.
According to the RTI response, the number of science students in class 12 in 2022-2023 was 21,285, which increased to 21,465 in 2023-2024. However, the number of students from the commerce stream in 2023-2024 fell to 26,721 from 33,006 in 2022-2023.
The number of students studying arts subjects fell drastically from 1,74,419 in 2022-23 to 1,06,785 in 2023-24. This is even less than the number of students in the 2020-2021 academic session, the RTI response said.
Dr. Himanshu Gupta, director of DoE, could not be contacted for his comment despite repeated attempts.
No response was received from Delhi Education Minister Atishi either.
The All India Parents Association (AIPA) said the biggest reason behind the decline in the number of children in government schools in Delhi is the poor education system.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families enrolled their children in government schools instead of private schools, but later realized that the “standard of education in government schools was not as claimed,” said AIPA president and senior advocate Ashok Aggarwal.
“There are many problems in government schools such as poor quality of education, shortage of regular teachers and lack of basic facilities due to which many children have dropped out of government schools and gone back to private schools,” Aggarwal told PTI.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)