Private school dependence in Manipur highest in India

Imphal: Dependence on private schools in Manipur is among the highest in India, a new study has revealed. According to the Annual Status of Education Report 2018, up to 70.4% of the children in the age group of 3-16 years were enrolled in private schools.

The figure in much higher than the national average of 32%. Also, the corresponding figures in the neighbouring states of Northeast were also much lower. As per ASER, while 14% of students in the said group were enrolled in private schools in Tripura, in Assam it was only 25.8%.

As per the report, school facilities have seen a notable improvement; however, state-wise disparities remain. For example, while 74.8% of schools nationally are recorded as having drinking water available on site, in Manipur (6.5%), Meghalaya (15.5%) and Nagaland (27.3%), the figures are significantly lower.

Similarly, a mid-day meal was found to be served in 87% of schools on the day ASER surveyors visited in 2018, a seemingly impressive outcome for a key government programme aimed at tackling the prevalence of malnutrition in children.

Yet, the state-wise breakdown shows a more unequal picture. In several northeastern states, under 50% of schools served the mid-day meal, including Manipur (46.4%), Meghalaya (47.9%) and Nagaland (27.4%).

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