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Admit relief for govt

Bhubaneswar, April 24: Much to the relief of the school and mass education department, which has lately been working on the dipping enrolment figures in primary schools of the state, over 5.13 lakh students have taken admissions during the two-day Pravesh Utsav earlier this month.

Pravesh Utsav — a drive launched by the department last year to welcome newcomers with flowers, tilak, sweets and books to school — was intended to draw in large number of students.

The enrolment details that reached the authorities here today revealed more than five lakh students took admissions in schools across the state.

The maximum enrolment was recorded in Balasore district with 43,997 students taking admission. The lowest enrolment was reported from Deogarh that saw 5,352 students taking admissions. While 25,478 students enrolled in Bhubaneswar, around half the number, 12,267, took admission in Cuttack.

The class wise admission figures showed 3,70,810 students had enrolled in Class I while 5,686 students enrolled in Class II. Similarly, there were 3,681 admissions for Class IV, 2,781 for Class V, 77,260 for Class VI, 2,630 for Class VII and 47,251 for Class VIII. The numbers hold significance in the wake of decreasing enrolment figures in the state.

Enrolment in primary schools in Odisha has dipped by around 59,000 this year — the first time that the state witnessed a decrease in enrolment at the elementary level.

While 65.78 lakh students had enrolled in 2010-11, only 65.19 lakh students took admission in 2011-12.

In 2010-11, 44.88 lakh students had taken admission in the primary level (classes I to V) while 20.9 lakh students had enrolled for the upper primary (classes VI-VIII) level. However, in 2011-12, only 44.32 lakh students enrolled for the primary level and 20.87 lakh had enrolled for the upper primary level, indicating a sharp drop in enrolment at the entry level. Authorities have attributed the dip to decrease in population between the ages of six and 14 and the elimination of fake enrolment cases.

“However, the department is trying its best to pull in maximum number of students by launching various innovative campaigns like Siksha Adhikaar Abhiyaan, Ama Vidyalaya and Pravesh Utsav,” said Krushna Gopal Mohapatra, state project director, Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority.