The last ten years have seen 3.3 million fewer children enroll in school, according to data released by the Unified District Information System (UDISE). From 254.8 million students in school in 2012-13, when the system was first introduced, the numbers have fallen to 250 million in 2019-20.
Experts suggest the trend is worrying because the decline in school enrollment is greater than the decline in the child population. A former professor at the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, Arun Mehta, said India time that the government is trying to sweep the decline in enrollment under the rug by focusing on the difference in pupils at school between the years 2018-19 and 2019-20. One of the possible causes for the increase in the number of 2.6 million during these years is the fact that school enrollment fell to an all-time high of 248.3 students in the year 2018-19. This was recorded after the impressive 2015-2016 record of 260.9 million students in schools.
There has also been a sharp decline of 50,000 public schools in the country over the past ten years. This is attributed to an increase in the number of private schools. There was also an overall decrease of 43,000 schools in India between 2018-19 and 2019-20.