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Letter sent on Mar 3, 2016

Punjab records highest growth in opening of new schools

Punjab has topped the country in opening of new schools, appointment of teachers and student enrolment in recent years.

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5 per cent between 2007–08 and 2013–14, Punjab has ranked on top in terms of growth in the number of schools followed by Kerala (5.4 per cent) and Jammu and Kashmir (5.3 per cent) while the all-India growth rate remained at 2.5 per cent, noted a recent study by apex industry body ASSOCHAM. The study says that Punjab has done exceedingly well on most of the parameters.

Growth in Student Enrollment

“Punjab has emerged as the leader with a CAGR of about eight per cent in terms of growth in student enrolment between 2007–08 and 2013–14 followed by Haryana (five per cent) and Gujarat (three per cent),” according to a study titled ‘States Emergence: A comparative analysis of growth & development,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
 
Number of teachers swells to 2.36 lakhs

Student enrolment grew at just over one per cent CAGR across India during the aforesaid period, the study noted. Punjab has also registered highest growth rate of about 20 per cent CAGR during 2007–08 and 2013–14 as the number of teachers in the state have increased from about 79,750 to over 2.36 lakh in this period. The ASSOCHAM study says that “In terms of education development challenge remains of providing equal opportunities for quality education to ever-growing number of students, reinvigorating institutions, crossing international benchmarks of excellence and extending the frontiers of knowledge”
 
Improving competence of Rural Students

“Developing a rural education policy which is result oriented in respect of funding educational institutes and teachers, which may help in improving efficiency of teaching faculty, which would ultimately improve overall competency of rural students and provide incentives to private colleges, professional institutes, and other vocational institutions to set up facilities in rural and backward areas may result in better enrollment rates,” the study said.
 
 “Punjab’s performance in terms of students per teacher has also improved remarkably as from a level of 32 students per teacher in 2007–08 it has improved to 17 students per teacher in 2013–14, however the state is ranked fourth in this regard after Himachal Pradesh (11 students per teacher), J&K (12 students per teacher) and Kerala (15 students per teacher),” highlighted the study prepared by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).
 
 Punjab is also ranked as fourth leading state as 52 per cent of schools in the state had computer facility in 2013–14 as against about 31 per cent in 2007–08, while Kerala (93 per cent), Gujarat (73 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (54 per cent) are top three states in this regard, the study noted. In India, about 23 per cent of schools had computer facility as of 2013–14 as against about 14 per cent in 2007–08. With 4.3 per cent of Punjab’s GSDP being incurred on education expenditure, the state is ranked ahead of Gujarat (3.3 per cent) in this regard.

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