Overview of Education Sector in India

The Ministry of Human Resource Development released a draft National Education Policy in July 2016.  In this context, we present some data on education indicators such as enrolment of students, drop-out rates, availability of teachers and share of government and private schools.

Over the years enrolment in class 6 and above is improving  

  •  Gross enrolment in classes 1-5 reduced from 114% in 2008-09 to 99% in 2013-14.  The above-100% enrolment rate in 2008-09 indicates that students enrolled in classes 1-5 included those younger than six or older than 10 years.  
  • In 2013-14, enrolment in classes 1-5 was about 100%, which signals a more age appropriate (six to 10 years) class composition
  • However, in higher classes, enrolment declined.

Note:  Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) is the student enrolment as a proportion of the corresponding eligible age group in a given year.

Enrolment similar to developed countries in classes 1-5, but lower at senior levels

  • India’s enrolment rate in primary education is comparable to that of developed countries.  However, India falls behind these countries after class 6. 
  • For example, enrolment in classes 6-8 is 82% in India compared to 100% in countries such as China, Germany, UK, and USA.
  • In higher education, India’s enrolment rate stands at about 21% compared to about 62% in UK and Germany, and 95% in USA.  China’s enrolment rate in higher education at 27% is slightly higher than India’s.

90% of students transition from class 5 to class 6, but only 67% from class 10 to 11

Note:  Transition rate is the proportion of students advancing from one class to another.

  • Transition rates indicate the proportion of students who are able to advance to a higher class.  A transition rate below 100% indicates that the students are held back or have dropped out of school.
  • Enrolment rate is about 74% for students in class 10.  Of these, 67% students are able to transition from class 10 to class 11.  Note that transition rate from class 5 to class 6 is 90%.

 More ST and SC students in class 1-8 drop-out of school

           Drop-out rate in elementary education

Note:  Drop-out rate is the proportion of students who drop-out from a given grade or level of education in a given school year.

  • The proportion of students between classes 1-8 who dropped out of school in 2013-14 was 36%.  However, for the ST student population, the drop-out rate was 48%, and for SC students, 39%.
  • The drop-out rates for all groups declined between 2008-09 and 2013-14.
  • In 2013-14, the enrolment of girls (97%) was higher than that of boys (93%), while their drop-out rate (33%) is lower than that of boys (39%).  This implies that girls who enter the system between classes 1-8, are more likely to complete elementary education.

Most states have at least 1 teacher for 30 students in classes 9-12

Pupil-Teacher ratio in class 9-12 (2014-15)

Note:  Pupil - teacher ratio is the average number of pupils (students) per teacher at a specific level of education in a given school‐year.

  • The recommended pupil-teacher ratio under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan for classes 9-12 is 30:1.  (One teacher for 30 students).  A higher ratio means there are more students per teacher.
  • Seven states had a pupil-teacher ratio above the recommended level, including Jharkhand (68:1), Bihar (57:1), Chhattisgarh (45:1), Uttar Pradesh (41:1), Madhya Pradesh (36:1), Gujarat (34:1) and Tripura (33:1).

Till class 12  students attend public schools; college students attend private colleges

Distribution of students by type of institution attended

  • While more students go to government schools than private ones, the trend is reversed in higher education.
  • Between 2008-09 and 2014-15, the proportion of students in classes 1-8 in government schools declined from 71% to 62%, implying an increasing preference for private schools.

Sources:  School Education in India 2014-15, District Information System for Education; Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2012; National Facts and Figures, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan; Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India Education, NSS 71st Round; PRS.


DISCLAIMER: This document is being furnished to you for your information.  You may choose to reproduce or redistribute this report for non-commercial purposes in part or in full to any other person with due acknowledgement of PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”).  The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of the author(s).  PRS makes every effort to use reliable and comprehensive information, but PRS does not represent that the contents of the report are accurate or complete.  PRS is an independent, not-for-profit group.  This document has been prepared without regard to the objectives or opinions of those who may receive it