The need to merge elementary schools in order to make them viable has been highlighted by the economic survey 2019. There is a decline in the population of elementary school-going children and this will have very important social and economic consequences. In order to shift policy emphasis from quantity towards quality & efficiency of education, the consolidation of elementary schools in the country is being worked upon which is definitely not about reducing investment in elementary education, as stated by the survey.
The population of 5-14 age groups consisting of elementary school-going children, in the years from 2021 to 2041 will see a decline of 18.4 percent as per the survey. This drop will be visible in Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka as stated by the survey.
The Survey states, “As of 2016, the population in the 5-14 age group, which roughly corresponds to the number of elementary school-going children, has already begun declining in India and across all major states except Jammu and Kashmir.”
The number of schools per capita will rise ‘significantly’ in India across all major states as stated. The number of elementary schools with less than 50 students has ‘increased over the past decade across all major states except Delhi’ was also mentioned by the survey.