Rapid growth in enrolment leads to growth in numbers of schools and institutions
Over the years, the growth in numbers of school and institution and the expansion of the education system has been triggered by rapid growth in the student enrolment.
The annual education statistics report ( AES) 2018 which was compiled by ministry of education stated that as of April this year, from about 400 students in the early 1960s, total enrolment has increased at all levels of formal education and tertiary institutes within the country to 1, 88,743 excluding students studying outside the country.
The report stated that there are 340 Early Childhood Care and Development ( ECCD) Centres comprising 282 community ECCD centres and 58 childcare centres established by private and Non- Government Organizations ( NGOs).
A total of 8,499 children are enrolled in these centres with 764 facilitators. The gross enrolment ratio ( GER) for ECCD in 2018 stands at 23.4 percent.
In the school system, there are 512 schools, which consist of 476 public schools including 63 central schools, and 36 private schools. Additionally, there are 79 Extended Classrooms ( ECRs).
The total enrolment from Pre- primary ( PP) to Class XII within the country for the current year is 1, 67, 108 with a total of 9,574 teachers.
As of this year, there are 50,296 students enrolled in Central Schools, comprising of 24,584 boys and 25,712 girls. The Net Primary Enrolment Rate stands at 92.9 percent as of 2018. In other words, 92.9 percent of 6- 12 years are enrolled in the primary education program. Similarly, the Adjusted Net Primary Enrolment Rate ( ANER) stands at 96.8 percent, indicating that about 3.2 percent of the 6- 12 years old children are not attending any forms of education, stated the report.
In the country, the country has 19 tertiary education institutes including three private colleges in the country with a total enrolment of 11,259 students pursuing various diploma and degree programmes.
“As per the data maintained by the Department of Adult and Higher Education ( DAHE), a total of 5,791 tertiary students are studying abroad as of 2017.”
Of these, 1,163 are scholarships students and 4,628 under private funding with majority, are studying outside Bhutan with majority which composed of 76.6 percent of them studying in India as of 2018. In total, there are 17,050 Bhutanese studying at tertiary level. The GER for tertiary level contributed to 24.2 percent for both within and outside Bhutan.
Adult literacy programmes are offered to 6,017 learners in 560 non- formal education centres taught by 544 instructors across the country. Similarly, there are 414 adult learners pursuing the continuing education programme in three continuing education centres.
While monastic bodies continue to provide traditional monastic education, the current formal education system has expanded since the 1st Five Year Plan ( FYP) in 1961 to address basic educational needs and develop human resources required for the socioeconomic development of the country.
The statistics stated that within a period of about six decades, the modern education system has expanded from about 11 schools prior to 1961 to 880 schools and other educational institutes in 2018, spanning from early childhood care education to tertiary and technical and vocational education.
The report further stated that early interventions for young children are essential to ensure their holistic development and prepare them for school. Studies show that children who have attended an ECCD programme learn better in school compared to those who have not attended such programme. The Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) 2030 also recognize the importance of ensuring quality early childhood care and development for young children to prepare them for primary education.
Considering the benefits of the ECCD, the statistics shows that the ministry has initiated early childhood care and development programmes. The ECCD programme is implemented through community based ECCD centres and centres run by the private sector, NGOs and corporations.
As of 2018, there are 340 ECCD centres with 8,499 children and 764 facilitators, of which 93 percent are female in the country and the Net Enrolment Rate ( NER) for ECCD or the proportion of children aged 3- 5 years in the country attending ECCD programme is 19.2 percent.
The GER for ECCD stands at 23.4 percent which is an increase of 1.6 percent compared to last year.
Decline in school going age population - a visible reduction is seen in these cohorts in the country over the period of twelve years. Comparing the PHCB 2005 & 2017, almost 3 percent age of 6- 12 years reduction is seen at this school going age.
The Apparent Intake Ratio ( AIR) for 2018 stands at 102.7 percent. The Net Intake Rate ( NIR) in 2018 is estimated at 63.4 percent, meaning that 63.4 percent of the right age populations of 6 years old are enrolled in the 1st grade ( PP) of primary education, while remaining 36.6 percent are either enrolled in the classes higher than PP that is 4.3 percent or not yet enrolled in school which is 32.3 percent.
Similarly, in terms of age composition of the PP enrolment for 2018, 60.1 percent of the total PP enrolment, including the repeaters is of right age that is 6 years old while 36.5 percent are over- aged and 3.4 percent under- aged stated the report.
Meanwhile, the AES provides key information on all forms of education within Bhutan consisting of school education, non- formal & continuing education, technical and vocational education, tertiary education and monastic education.