During my early age, I used to ask my father – when I will go to college/university? My father’s usual answer was, first complete your school education, get good marks and then you will be eligible to enter into a college.
Similarly, every child has a dream of experiencing a college life. But, the question arises, how children can attain the college education when there is a dearth of public schools in India. Similar situation exists in the most forward district of Uttar Pradesh which is called Gautam Buddh Nagar. It is largely a suburban district of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India. It is part of the National Capital Region (India). The district is one of the fastest growing districts of India, registering 51.52 % growth in the preceding decade, according to the census of 2011 in terms of economic growth which is estimated based on the state domestic Product. According to the 2011 census, the population of Gautam Budh Nagar is sixteen lakh forty eight thousand and one hundred fifteen. Perhaps due to its close proximity to Delhi, the literacy rates are significant, with 82.2% literacy as compared to 74.04% of the national average. The female literacy stands at 72.78% much higher than national average of 65.46%. It seems that these figures come out due to the presence of high profile urban private schools. Education as we understand is one of the prime indicators of development. My concern however is that is it the inclusive development? Are children of all strata having an access to public (Govt Schools) education? Data suggests otherwise. Data shows that the count of government schools in the district is very less.
In the Gautam Budh Nagar district, around 733 government schools exist. And surprisingly in the entire district there are only 6 secondary schools and 42 higher secondary schools. Upon looking at the data more closely, the shortage of Secondary and Senior Secondary schools and overcrowding of the students at these levels has been observed. The Figure depicts that there is one primary school per 229 children and one middle school per 223 children, but for higher grades the ratio is not so encouraging. The figures suggests that is one school per 1333 students at the secondary and senior secondary in the same district. Though, the Right to Education Act has set the motivated targets upto middle standards (upper primary) but level beyond this (secondary and higher secondary) has projected a miserable picture of number of schools across the Gautam Budh district. Thus, it is a need of an hour to look into situation positively. The further blogs will be based on the infrastructure and other aspects.
By – Nisha, Research Executive, DevInsights