Education Ministry’s School Data: Hits and Misses (Careers360.com), Observations by Ptof. Arun C Mehta
Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-20 Report
Department of School Education & Literacy
Ministry of Education. Government of India
(Released on 1st July 2021)
Arun C Mehta
Formerly Professor & Head of EMIS Department
NIEPA, New Delhi
The Department of School Education & Literacy of the Ministry of Education, Government of India on July 1st released its first-ever report based on UDISE-Plus data for the year 2019-20 which presents a brief analysis of school education at the all-India level and state-specific statements for all the States & UTs of India including Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories. The Report was formally released by Education Minister on 30th June 2021 through a press release.
Here are the quick observations:
Age-specific Child Population
UDISE+ 2019-20 enrolment indicators are based on child population provided by the Report of the Technical Group on Population Projections, National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, July 2020 which is a welcome development. It may be recalled that AISHE 2019-20 also brought out by the Ministry of Education in June 2021 was not based on the Official projections.
New Variables Additions
The following new variables have been added to UDISE+ 2019-20 Report, perhaps for the first time.
- Number of schools by Affiliation Board
- Percentage of all minority groups enrolment in addition to Muslim enrolment
- Coverage of vocational education under National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF)
- Number of Admission of students in Grade I who have a pre-school experience; and
- Distribution of enrolment by below age 6, 6-10, 11-13, 9-10, 14-15, 16-17, and greater than 17 years
- In addition to indicators, most of the tables present absolute numbers which are of limited use and should have been avoided. To the extent possible, all the numbers should have been presented in the percentage form wherever possible.
- None of the tables have time-series information like three years in the previously published UDISE Flash Statistics in the absence of which one has to refer to previous year’s data which like UDISE+2019-20 is not available in the Report Form, one has to download from the portal. Better would be to bring out UDISE+ 2018-19 Report in a similar format which may be found useful by the users. However, one can download individual year reports from https://udiseplus. gov.in
- At the national level, most of the indicators are compared with 2012-13 UDISE data, the first year of the unification of DISE & SEMIS but the same for other years between 2012-13 to 2018-19 have not been presented except for 2018-19 in case of few variables, like teachers.
- In addition to the indicators presented a few indicators such as the source of drinking water, percentage of contractual teachers, GER of Muslim enrolment, etc should have found a place in the report.
Status of Universal Enrolment: All-India, 2019-20
Like previous years, UDISE+ 2019-20 also presents a variety of enrolment ratios all of which indicate that the goal of universal primary enrolment is very much in the sight and may be achieved in the years that follow. The justification that GER during the period 2012-13 to 2019-20 is declined because children started entering the system at the appropriate age is not fully correct. The reason for the decline in GER is the steep decline in enrolment in absolute form during the years 2016-17 to 2017-18 and 2017-18 to 2018-19. Deliberately most of the indicators are not compared with the 2017-18 data which must be considered a benchmark year because this was the last year of U-DISE which was managed by NIEPA, New Delhi, and also because UDISE+ 2018-19 data was based on the incomplete number of schools. See a detailed study on these aspects:
- Recent U-DISE Data & Analysis: 2018-19
- Patterns of Decline in Enrolment & its Implications for Universal Secondary Education in India: An In-depth Analysis of U-DISE 2016-17 Data by Arun C Mehta
Enrolement Ratios: 2019-20
Source: UDISE+ 2019-20, DoSE&L, Ministry of Education.
The UDISE+ 2019-20 mentioned that “Since changes in GER are usually not much on a year-to-year basis” is factually wrong and misleading which are reflected in the GER at Primary level during 2017-18 and 2018-19 based on UDISE itself. UDISE+ 2019-20 further indicates that other levels of education (other than primary level) are still far away towards attaining a 100 percent enrolment ratio.
Enrolment Ratio: All India Level: 2017-18 & 2018-19
|Type of Enrolment Ratio|
Source: UDISE (NIEPA, New Delhi) & UDISE+ (Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry
Good to observe a steep decline in the average annual dropout rate at the primary level of education from 4.5 percent for Cohort 2017-18 to 1.5 percent in Cohort 2018-19 which needs further analysis especially the repetition rate at this level which is reported to be 0.63 percent. The same is also low at 1.8 percent per annum at the upper primary level which is encouraging but the same at the secondary level is reported to be 17.3 percent per annum. Further, the transition rate reveals that about 28 percent of students dropped out from the system between elementary to secondary level of education and the retention rate at this level of education is only 62 percent indicating a high dropout of 38 percent in between the system. Even retention rate at the elementary level of education is reported to be 77 percent thus indicating 23 percent dropout in between the system from one level of education to another. Hope while formulating annual work plan it will be looked into it.
Computer & Internet Facility
UDISE data over a period of time suggest that most of the facilities in schools are on improvement. However, the same in case of availability of Computer and Internet Connectivity in school is far than satisfactory as only 39 percent schools have a computer and another 22 percent have internet connectivity which has become more important because of COVID19 and ongoing pandemic classes are being held online. This is also crucial for UDISE+ which is said to be an online paperless system in the absence of which one can easily think how schools manage an online system. Schools rush to block level and cyber café for online uploading and updating of data.
|Facility||Primary Only School||All Schools|
Because of the online learning classes across the country, it is more important to have the devices/computer/laptop and internet connectivity/data package at home which the NSSO 75th Round data reveals that only 10.7 percent of the total households in India have got a computer and another 23.8 percent have got access to internet facilities. But the same in the rural areas is as low as 4.4 and 14.9 percent respectively as against 23.4 and 42 percent in the urban areas; thus showing a wide gap in the availability of computers and access to internet facilities between rural and urban areas. One could easily understand the fate of students during a pandemic, One can expect enrolment to decline but at the same time, Government schools can expect migration from private schools to its fold which is expected to be reflected in 2020-21 and 2021-22 data.
Readers are advised to refer to the source of information and give full reference to the material used.
Download UDISE+ 2019-20 Report
Unified District Information System for Education Plus 2019-20 Report