Story in Numbers: Students move from private to government schools

The exercise will be done in villages where Tata Trusts is already working
Pratham, a non-government organisation focuses on research in school education trends and produces annual reports, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time it conducted its Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2020 Wave 1, via phone interviews. The research is ongoing, but its first instalment (wave) sought to capture the changes in school education trends.


With most schools closed for the larger part of 2020, inevitably, there has been an impact on children’s education. Beyond the health consequences of Covid-19, the pandemic has caused school closures as well as economic hardships owing to migration and loss of livelihoods, among other reasons. The report explored whether this unprecedented situation has caused shifts in children’s enrolment patterns in rural India.


The findings of the report are that there has been a clear shift from private to government schools between 2018 and 2020, in all grades and among both boys and girls. Reasons may include financial distress in households and/or permanent school shutdowns among the private schools.


There are other findings: How learning was supported at home via a variety of instruments including smartphones; how much the pandemic contributed to students simply dropping out, etc. The report says that the full effect of the pandemic on learning outcomes will be clear only once schools are open again. But it is clear that for many children across India, going to school will never be the same again.


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