Rapid growth in en­rol­ment leads to growth in num­bers of schools and in­sti­tu­tions

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

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.

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