Shimla: To retain students moving from government to private schools, the state was intent upon bringing about qualitative changes in the primary and elementary education system, education minister ID Dhiman on Wedneday said.
Speaking at a meet the press program, the minister said that 72% of the primary and elementary school students of the state were attending government schools.
Of the 734,397 students enrolled in Class 1 â€“ 8 in government schools, there were 369,681 boys and 364,716 girls, which made a gender parity index (GPI) of 0.99 and was best in the country.
Increase in enrollments in private schools was mainly due to English language being the medium of imparting education in them. However, educationists hold that mother tongue remains the best medium of learning at primary and elementary levels, said the education minister.
Defending the government decision to merge 87 primary schools with nearby schools, he said that these schools had not been de-notified but as the total strength in them was below 10 students, transferring the students to a neighbouring school was done for improving the quality of education imparted.
Should the schools that have been merged be able to muster a critical student strength, they would be reopened. From better access, the government was moving towards consolidation for raising the education standards, he said.
The teaching days in schools had been increased to 240 days and English as a subject had been introduced from class I.
The government was running 10764 primary schools, 2302 middle schools, 1271 high schools and 851 senior secondary schools in the state he said.
Where the budget allocation for education was Rs 1497 Cr in 2007-08 in 2011-12 it was Rs 3164.64 crore, marking an increase of Rs 1667 crore in a four year period.
For increasing teachers in the schools, the government had sanctioned 5000 posts that were in the recruitment process, said Dhiman.