Low enrolment, high dropout rate plague Punjab schools

Jalandhar: Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) was founded in 1969, but all is not well with the board now in the golden jubilee year of its foundation. Punjab recorded a declining trend in enrolment and saw a high dropout rate of students. As far as the results of Class-10 exams are concerned, it was above 90% only on three occasions in the past 50 years.

An analysis conducted by Dainik Bhaskar with the help of educationists has found that the rate of literacy in the state in the last 5 decades has touched only 75.84%, while it has increased more rapidly in smaller states.

2.07 lakh less students enroll in govt schools

The dropout rate for students in government schools is rising. The government’s bid to revitalise education through the scheme ‘Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab’ has failed to yield results. The number of students taking admission in primary and senior secondary schools has declined by 2.07 lakh in last five years, from 26.41 lakh in 2013-14 to 24.34 lakh in 2017-18. The number of students studying in private schools is 32.75 lakh, which is 18 lakh more than those in government schools.

Expert View: Suggestions for Punjab Board

Department of Education’s assistant director Prof Kuldeep Singh in Patiala said there was no need of CBSE board in the state, and that there should be just one board in the state. Presently, the CBSE pattern is being followed, but there are no good facilities. He gave following suggestions for Punjab Board:

  • The evaluation system of Punjab Board requires improvement. The syllabus should be interesting and practical to bring down dropout rate.

  • Teachers should not be engaged in clerical works, as instead of teaching they spend more time in preparing reports.

  • Bureaucrats have replaced educationists and academics in PSEB. No academic discussions are held to make the syllabus more useful.

Lessons from Kerala Board

Kerala tops the country in literacy. Kerala Education Board has adopted information technology and evaluation-based pattern. Now all the studies in Kerala schools are done using computers.

The syllabus is not “ratta maar”, as instead of cramming stress is on making it interest-based with focus on developing mental ability.

(With inputs from Pravin Parv)