Only 19% schools across India have access to internet: UNESCO report

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Only 19% schools across India have access to internet: UNESCO report

  • On the Occasion of the World Teachers’ Day (5th October), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched its 2021 State of the Education Report (SOER) for India: “No Teacher, No Class”.
  • The findings are largely based on analysis of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) and the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data (2018-19).
  • It aims to serve as a reference for enhancing the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) and towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (target 4c on teachers).

Findings of the Report:

Lack of Teachers:

  • There are nearly 1.2 lakh single-teacher schools in the country of which an overwhelming 89% are in rural areas.
  • The report projects that India needs 11.16 lakh additional teachers to meet the current shortfall.

Performance of States (Women Teachers):

  • Tripura has the least number of women teachers, followed by Assam, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
  • Chandigarh leads the chart followed by Goa, Delhi, Kerala.

Increase in Number of Teachers in Private Sector:

  • The proportion of teachers employed in the private sector grew from 21% in 2013-14 to 35% in 2018-19.
  • The Right to Education Act stipulates that the Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) should be 30:1 in classes 1-5 and 35:1 in higher grades.

Lack of Digital Infrastructure:

  • The overall availability of computing devices (desktops or laptops) in schools is 22% for all India, with rural areas seeing much lower provisioning (18%) than urban areas (43%).
  • Access to the internet in schools is 19% all over India - only 14% in rural areas compared to 42% in urban areas.

Increment in Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER):

  • For elementary schools, it has increased from 81.6 in 2001 to 93.03 in 2018-19 and stands at 102.1 in 2019-2020.
  • GER is the number of students enrolled in a given level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population corresponding to the same level of education.
  • Overall retention is 74.6% for elementary education and 59.6% for secondary education in 2019-20.