Maharashtra student enrollments improved by 74,856; positive signs after sharp drop during COVID school closure period: U-DISE report

Student enrollments in both private and government-run schools in Maharashtra saw a slight improvement in 2021-22, showing signs of recovery after the sharp fall in enrollments during the COVID- 19. The Unified District System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report released on Friday morning for all states showed that 2,25,86,695 students from pre-K to class 12 were enrolled in 1.09 lakh schools of Maharashtra, an improvement of 74,856 in comparison. to student enrollment numbers in 2019-2020 and 2020-21, the years of extended school closures and the shift to online education, during the pandemic.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to multiple issues in the education sector, such as disparity in access to internet devices and facilities for online education, inability of parents to pay fees due to financial constraints that had an adverse effect on student enrollment. figures, reflected in the U-DISE report for the academic year 2020-21, which showed that 2,25,11,839 students were enrolled from pre-K to class 12 this year compared to 2,30,54,357, in 2019- 2020, indicating a drop of 5.42 lakh students.

One of the reasons for the improvement could be the use of technology for teaching, which allowed teachers to conduct classes at a distance and bring innovations in teaching. In terms of technology, Maharashtra schools lead the country which revealed U-DISE data as it had the highest number of computers used for educational purposes – 27,327 in 1.09 lakh schools.

According to the latest 2021-2022 report, 48% or nearly one in two schools had an Internet connection, a sharp improvement from the last U-DISE report, in which only 36% of schools had Internet. This means that in just one year, internet facility was extended to 12% of the 1.09 lakh schools in Maharashtra. On the management side, the latest U-DISE report showed that 85.6% of unaided private schools in Maharashtra had internet connections, a slight improvement over last year when the same percentage was 83. However, the disparity between public and private schools appears to have decreased compared to 11.82% of government schools that had access to the Internet last year was 28.3 % in the last report.

Among the other indicators in the U-DISE report was that 95% of schools in Maharashtra had electricity connection, but only in 85% of the schools, the electricity connection was functional.

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