Examining Enrollment Impact: From Primary Education to Higher Education in India – NER Insights 2023
Net Enrollment Ratio (NER)
Net Enrollment Ratio (NER) is a key indicator used to measure the extent of participation in education at a specific level, typically primary or secondary education. It represents the percentage of children in the official age-group for a given level of education who are enrolled in that level, adjusted for repeaters and overage students.
The calculation method for NER involves taking the number of students enrolled in a particular level of education, adjusting it for repeaters and overage students, and dividing it by the population of the official age group for that level: the ratio is then multiplied by hundred to express it as a percentage and popularly known as Net Enrolmennnt Ratio..
To calculate the NER, the following data is required:
- Number of students enrolled in the specific level of education.
- Number of repeaters and overage students at that level.
- Population of the official age group for that level.
Interpretation of NER
Interpretation of the NER depends on the context and the level of education being measured. A high NER indicates a high level of participation in education, while a low NER suggests low enrollment rates. It is commonly used to assess the progress and effectiveness of educational policies and programs.
NER differs from the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in that it takes into account repeaters and overage students. GER, on the other hand, considers the total number of students in a specific level of education without adjusting for these factors. NER provides a more accurate representation of actual enrollment by accounting for students who may repeat a grade or be older than the typical age for that level.
The NER cannot exceed 100 percent since it represents the percentage of children in the official age group who are enrolled. However, it is possible for the NER to be greater than 100 percent when it includes overage students or students outside the official age group who are enrolled in the level being measured.
The implication of achieving universal school education by 2020, as envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, would be that the NER for primary and secondary education should reach 100 percent for the respective age groups. This would mean that every child of the official age group should have access to and be enrolled in school. Achieving this goal requires significant efforts in terms of expanding infrastructure, ensuring equitable access, improving quality, and addressing barriers to enrollment such as poverty, gender discrimination, and social inequalities.
Sources of Data
The source of data on enrollment by age and projected child population in India can vary depending on the specific study or analysis being conducted. Here are some common sources that provide relevant data:
Government Educational Surveys: The Government of India conducts regular surveys and assessments to collect data on education, including enrollment by age. The Ministry of Education, Department of School Education and Literacy, and other government bodies release reports and data sets that can provide information on enrollment at different age levels.
National Sample Survey: The National Sample Survey (NSS) of the MOSPI collects data on various aspects of education, including enrollment by age. The NSS reports provide valuable insights into enrollment patterns in India in terms of Net Enrollment Rate in different age groups.
Census Data: The decennial Census conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India provides demographic information, including population data by age groups. While the Census does not directly provide enrollment data, it can be used in conjunction with other sources to estimate enrollment rates by age.
Educational Institutions & School Management Information Systems: Schools and educational institutions in India maintain records of student enrollment, including age information. These records can be aggregated to analyze enrollment by age. Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISEPlus) is the most comprehensive regularr database managed by the Ministry of Education that collects school-level data, including enrollment details may be sued to compute enrolment ratios including the NER.
Research Studies and Surveys: Independent research studies and surveys conducted by academic institutions, NGOs, and research organizations also contribute to the available data on enrollment by age and projected child population in India. These studies may employ various methodologies and sampling techniques to collect and analyze data.
However, it is important to observe that the availability and reliability of data can vary, and it is recommended to consult official government sources (such as UDISEPlus) or recognized research institutions for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
In this arctile, NER provided through the UDISEPlus for the year 2021-22 is have been used which is the latest data available as on 26th May 2023. Projected child population must be obtained only from the official sources.
Net Enrolment Rate (NER) by Gender and Level of School Education, 2021-22
India/ State/ UT
Net Enrolment Rate (NER)
|Primary (1 to 5)||Upper Primary (6 to 8)||Elementary (1 to 8)||Secondary (9-10)||Higher Secondary (11-12)|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||59.8||63||61.4||54.8||56.3||55.5||63.5||66.1||64.8||43.5||49.3||46.2||37.5||44.5||40.8|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu
|Jammu and Kashmir||85.7||86.5||86.2||42||45.1||43.4||75.2||78.1||76.6||30.6||31.4||31||30.3||30.1||30.2|
Source: UDISE+ 2021-22
Net Enrolment Rate (NER) by gender & level of school education in India for the year 2021-22, the following observations can be made:
The NER for girls is higher than boys across all levels of school education (primary, upper primary, elementary, secondary, and higher secondary). This indicates a positive trend towards gender parity in enrollment.
The gender gap is more prominent at the secondary and higher secondary levels, where the NER for girls is significantly higher than boys.
Primary Level (1 to 5)
The NER for boys is 87.3 percent, while for girls, it is slightly higher at 90 percent. The overall NER for primary level is 88.6 percent.
This indicates that there is a relatively high enrollment rate at the primary level, with a small gender disparity favoring girls.
Upper Primary Level (6 to 8)
The NER for boys is 71 percent, whereas for girls, it is slightly higher at 71.7 percent. The overall NER for upper primary level is 71.3 percent.
The enrollment rate drops compared to the primary level, but the gender disparity remains small.
Elementary Level (1 to 8)
The NER for boys is 89.7 percent, while for girls, it is slightly higher at 91.5 percent. The overall NER for the elementary level is 90.5 percent.
The enrollment rate increases again at the elementary level, and the gender disparity remains small.
Secondary Level (9-10)
The NER for boys is 47.9 percent, whereas for girls, it is slightly higher at 48 percent. The overall NER for the secondary level is 47.9 percent.
There is a significant drop in the enrollment rate at the secondary level compared to the elementary level. The gender disparity remains small.
Higher Secondary Level (11-12)
The NER for boys is 33.5 percent, while for girls, it is slightly higher at 35 percent. The overall NER for the higher secondary level is 34.2 percent.
The enrollment rate further decreases at the higher secondary level, with a slight gender disparity favoring girls.
At the all India level, the data reflects an overall positive trend in terms of NER, indicating a relatively high enrollment rate across different levels of school education. However, there are variations in the enrollment rates and gender disparities across states and union territories.
It is important to note that NER represents the enrollment rate as a percentage and, therefore, cannot exceed 100 percent. The implication for achieving universal school education by 2020, as envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, would require continuous efforts to improve enrollment rates, reduce gender disparities, and ensure access to education for all children in India.
Blow, we present state-specific analsysis of NER in a select states which are very important for India to attain the status of Universal enrolment.
Bihar has a relatively high NER for both boys (91.7 percent) and girls (94.4 percent) at the primary level, indicating good enrollment rates.
However, the NER drops significantly at the secondary level for both genders, with boys at 33.5 percent and girls at 35.8 percent. This suggests a need for improvement in higher secondary education.
The gender disparity remains relatively small across all levels of education in Bihar.
Implication: Bihar needs to focus on improving enrollment rates and providing better access to education at the secondary and higher secondary levels to achieve universal school enrollment.
Uttar Pradesh has a relatively high NER for girls (87.1 percent) compared to boys (83 percent) at the primary level.
The NER drops significantly at the secondary level, indicating a lower enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is relatively small at the primary level but increases at the secondary level, with girls having a higher NER.
Implication: Uttar Pradesh should focus on improving overall enrollment rates, especially at the secondary level, and reduce the gender disparity to achieve universal school enrollment.
Rajasthan has a moderate NER for both boys (82.9 percent) and girls (85.5 percent) at the primary level.
The NER drops at the secondary level, indicating a lower enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is small at the primary level but increases at the secondary level, with girls having a higher NER.
Implication: Rajasthan needs to work towards improving enrollment rates, especially at the secondary level, and reducing the gender disparity to achieve universal school enrollment.
Madhya Pradesh has a moderate NER for both boys (70 percent) and girls (70.5 percent) at the primary level.
The NER remains relatively consistent at the upper primary and elementary levels.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Madhya Pradesh.
Implication: Madhya Pradesh should focus on increasing enrollment rates, particularly at the primary level, to achieve universal school enrollment.
West Bengal has a high NER of 100 percent for both boys and girls at the primary, elementary, and higher secondary levels.
However, the NER drops at the secondary level, indicating a lower enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is relatively small at all levels of education in West Bengal.
Implication: West Bengal needs to focus on improving enrollment rates, especially at the secondary level, to achieve universal school enrollment.
Kerala has a high NER for both boys (86.8 percent) and girls (86.5 percent) at the primary level.
The NER remains consistently high at all levels of education in Kerala, indicating a strong enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Kerala.
Implication: Kerala’s high enrollment rates and small gender disparity serve as a positive example for achieving universal school enrollment.
Gujarat has a moderate NER for both boys (75.1 percent) and girls (79.4 percent) at the primary level.
The NER drops significantly at the secondary level, indicating a lower enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Gujarat.
Implication: Gujarat needs to focus on improving enrollment rates, especially at the secondary level, to achieve universal school enrollment.
Tamil Nadu has a moderate NER for both boys (84.4 percent) and girls (85.7 percent) at the primary level.
The NER remains relatively consistent at all levels of education in Tamil Nadu.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Tamil Nadu.
Implication: Tamil Nadu needs to work towards maintaining and improving enrollment rates to achieve universal school enrollment.
Jharkhand has a relatively high NER for both boys (93.4 percent) and girls (93.6 percent) at the primary level.
The NER drops at the secondary and higher secondary levels, indicating a lower enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Jharkhand.
Implication: Jharkhand should focus on improving enrollment rates, especially at the secondary and higher secondary levels, to achieve universal school enrollment.
Himachal Pradesh has a high NER for both boys (99.4 percent) and girls (99.6 percent) at the primary level.
The NER remains consistently high at all levels of education in Himachal Pradesh, indicating a strong enrollment rate.
The gender disparity is small at all levels of education in Himachal Pradesh.
Implication: Himachal Pradesh’s high enrollment rates and small gender disparity serve as a positive example for achieving universal school enrollment.
In conclusion, several states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, face challenges in achieving universal school enrollment, particularly at the secondary and higher secondary levels. These states need to focus on improving overall enrollment rates, reducing the gender disparity, and ensuring better access to education. States like West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Himachal Pradesh demonstrate relatively high enrollment rates and smaller gender disparities, providing valuable insights and potential strategies for achieving universal school enrollment in India.
Challenages fro india to achieve 100 percent enrolment ratio
Despite progress in increasing net enrollment rates (NER) in India, achieving 100 percent enrollment ratio still presents several challenges:
Accessibility: Ensuring access to education for all children, especially those in remote and marginalized areas, remains a significant challenge. Inadequate infrastructure, long distances to schools, lack of transportation, and geographical barriers make it difficult for some children to attend school.
Gender Disparity: While the gender disparity in enrollment rates has reduced in many states, it remains a challenge in certain regions. Socio-cultural factors, poverty, early marriage, and gender-based discrimination can hinder girls’ education and contribute to lower enrollment rates among them.
Quality of Education: Enrollment rates alone do not guarantee quality education. Ensuring a high standard of education is essential for retention and completion of schooling. Challenges related to teacher quality, curriculum relevance, availability of learning resources, and classroom infrastructure must be addressed to enhance the overall quality of education.
Socio-Economic Factors: Poverty and socio-economic disparities often limit access to education. Children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds face challenges such as child labor, lack of financial resources, and parental illiteracy, which hinder their enrollment and retention in schools.
Dropout Rates: High dropout rates pose a significant challenge to achieving universal enrollment. Factors such as child labor, early marriage, lack of interest, inadequate support systems, and limited educational opportunities contribute to students dropping out before completing their education.
Equity and Inclusion: Ensuring education for marginalized groups, including children with disabilities, tribal communities, and socially disadvantaged groups, is crucial. Inclusive policies, targeted interventions, and addressing social barriers are essential to promote equal access and enrollment for all.
Awareness and Parental Engagement: Lack of awareness among parents about the importance of education and their role in supporting their children’s enrollment and retention remains a challenge. Encouraging parental engagement, community involvement, and raising awareness about the benefits of education are vital components in achieving universal enrollment.
Financial Resources: Adequate allocation of financial resources is essential to improve infrastructure, hire qualified teachers, provide learning materials, and implement interventions that promote enrollment and retention. Ensuring sufficient funding and effective utilization of resources is crucial for achieving universal enrollment.
To meet these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach involving policy reforms, targeted interventions, community participation, capacity building, and investment in education. Collaboration between central and state governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders is necessary to overcome these obstacles and work towards achieving 100 percent enrollment ratio in India.
Programmes Recently Launched in India
The Government of India has implemented various initiatives and policies to address the challenges in achieving universal enrollment. Here are some of the key measures taken:
Right to Education (RTE) Act: The RTE Act, implemented in 2010, mandates free and compulsory education for children aged 6 to 14 years. It ensures that children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to quality education. The act emphasizes inclusive education, non-discrimination, and the provision of necessary infrastructure and resources.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA): SSA is a flagship program aimed at universalizing elementary education. It focuses on improving access, retention, and quality of education. The program includes provisions for infrastructure development, teacher recruitment and training, free textbooks, and various interventions to address specific challenges.
Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS): The MDMS provides free meals to school children to improve enrollment, retention, and attendance. It aims to address malnutrition and encourage children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend school regularly. The scheme covers all government and government-aided schools.
National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS): The NMMSS provides scholarships to all meritorious students from economically weaker sections of the society to encourage them to continue their education beyond the elementary stage. It aims to minimize the dropout rate and improve access to secondary education.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme: The BBBP scheme focuses on addressing gender disparity in education and promoting the education of girls. It aims to prevent gender-based sex-selective practices, provide girls with equal opportunities for education, and create an enabling environment for their education and empowerment.
Digital Initiatives: The government has launched several digital initiatives to enhance access to education, especially in remote areas. Initiatives like Digital India, ePathshala, and SWAYAM provide digital learning resources, online courses, and educational platforms to promote distance learning and bridge the digital divide.
Strengthening Infrastructure: The government is working towards improving infrastructure in schools, especially in rural and remote areas. This includes building new schools, providing separate toilets for girls, ensuring clean drinking water facilities, and enhancing classroom infrastructure.
Skill Development Programs: Skill development programs and vocational education initiatives are being promoted to equip students with employable skills and reduce dropout rates. These programs aim to provide alternative pathways for students who may not continue formal education.
These initiatives reflect the government’s commitment to addressing the challenges of universal enrollment. However, sustained efforts, adequate funding, effective implementation, and continuous monitoring are crucial for their success. The government continues to refine and expand these initiatives to ensure that every child in India has access to quality education.
Enrolment at primary and other level of school education affect enrolment in higher education levels?
Enrollment at primary and other levels of school education has a significant impact on enrollment in higher education levels. Here are some ways in which enrollment at the primary level influences higher education enrollment:
Foundation of Education: Primary education forms the foundation of a child’s educational journey. It equips students with basic literacy, numeracy, and essential skills. Strong foundational education increases the likelihood of students progressing to higher education.
Access and Equity: Universal enrollment at the primary level ensures that all children, irrespective of their socio-economic background or gender, have access to education. When primary education is accessible and inclusive, it creates a larger pool of students eligible for higher education.
Continuity of Education: Seamless transition from primary to higher education is facilitated when there is a high enrollment rate at the primary level. Students who complete primary education are more likely to continue their education and pursue higher studies.
Academic Preparedness: Primary education provides the necessary knowledge, cognitive abilities, and study skills that are essential for higher education. A strong academic foundation obtained at the primary level enables students to meet the academic requirements of higher education institutions.
Aspirations & Motivation: Primary education plays a crucial role in shaping students’ aspirations and motivation for higher education. When children receive quality primary education and are exposed to a variety of subjects and career options, they develop a desire to pursue higher education to fulfill their aspirations and goals.
Drop-out Prevention: High enrollment rates at the primary level contribute to reducing the dropout rates at higher education levels. When a significant number of students complete primary education, there is a higher chance of them continuing their education and not dropping out before reaching higher education.
Socio-economic Development: Education at all levels, including primary education, is closely linked to socio-economic development. When more children complete primary education, it positively impacts the overall educational attainment of a society, leading to better opportunities for higher education and socio-economic growth.
It is important to note that while primary education sets the foundation, enrollment and retention efforts need to be sustained throughout the entire education continuum to ensure a smooth transition to higher education. Improving access, quality, and relevance of education at all levels is crucial for promoting higher education enrollment and achieving inclusive and equitable education systems.
Brief Summary of Analysis on NER 2021-22
In summary, enrollment at the primary and other levels of school education in India has a significant impact on enrollment in higher education. Achieving high enrollment rates at the primary level is crucial for several reasons:
- Primary education forms the foundation of a child’s educational journey and provides essential skills and knowledge.
- Universal enrollment at the primary level ensures access and equity in education, allowing all children to have equal opportunities for higher education.
- Seamless transition from primary to higher education is facilitated when there is a high enrollment rate at the primary level.
- Primary education prepares students academically, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge for higher education.
- Primary education shapes students’ aspirations and motivation for higher education, inspiring them to pursue further studies.
- High enrollment rates at the primary level contribute to reducing dropout rates at higher education levels.
- Education at all levels, including primary education, is linked to socio-economic development, and increased enrollment at the primary level positively impacts overall educational attainment and socio-economic growth.
To address the challenges of achieving 100 percent enrollment in India, the government has implemented various initiatives, including the Right to Education Act, mid-day meal programs, scholarships, infrastructure development, and awareness campaigns. These efforts aim to improve access, quality, and relevance of education at all levels and ensure a smooth transition from primary to higher education. By focusing on these aspects and promoting inclusive and equitable education systems, India aims to increase enrollment in higher education and provide opportunities for all individuals to pursue their educational aspirations.