Thiruvananthapuram: There is a major mismatch in the government's claims about the enrolment of students in public schools and the data of the Department of General and Higher Education.
The state government's claim that there has been an increase of 6.8 lakh students in public schools has been proven wrong by the figures put out by the latter.
As per the official figures published by the Directorate of General Education, the number of students from class 1 to 10 were 33.67 lakh during the 2015-16 academic year; but this reduced to 33.27 lakh students during 2019-20.
The total number of students in the government and aided schools dropped by 40,694 during the last five years. However, the number of students in government schools increased from 11.54 lakh to 11.68 lakh, but the overall drop is solely accounted by the student strength in aided schools where it fell from 22.13 lakh to 21.58 lakh.
The figures for the 2020-21 academic year have not been published due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even if only the number of students who enrolled in class 1 is considered, the government claims cannot be validated. In 2015-16, 2.53 lakh students had joined class 1, however it increased to 2.68 lakh students, i.e., an increase of approximately 13,000 in 2019-20.