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Rural school education and girls' enrollment causes of concern: NCERT survey
The provisional data of the 8th All India Education Survey (AIES) released by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) points that during 2002-09, the overall student enrollment levels have increased by 13.67 per cent for school education along with a decline in pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) from 42:1 to 32:1.

However, the dropout rate of girls at secondary school level and the poor state of rural schools, which constitute more than 84.14 per cent proportion of total number of schools in the country, continue to be causes of concern.

The survey data reveals that the private unaided primary schools continued to grow at fast pace registering 37.32 per cent increase from 49,667 in the seventh survey to 68,203 in the present survey. It seems that the main cause for the fast growth of the private sector school education is the poor quality of education in government schools despite the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

According to the NCERT, the main purpose of AIES is to collect, compile and disseminate information of the country’s overall progress in the area of school education. These surveys provide basic inputs to develop educational plans at micro-level as well as at macro-level, to formulate educational policies, and to monitor the progress of various educational schemes of the central and state governments.

All the 35 state governments and union territory administrations were involved in execution of the survey. However, the survey data is reported by the NCERT without any recommendations. But, the preliminary look at the data shows dismal state of quality of education in rural India.

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