NEW DELHI: In 2008-09, only two of Delhi’s nine districts had more students in English medium schools than in Hindi medium ones. Five years later, in 2013-14, the picture has flipped completely, with only three districts now having more Hindi medium students than English medium ones.
For the state as a whole, there are almost as many students opting for English medium as those in Hindi medium with the difference between the numbers of students enrolled in the two mediums at just over 53,000. From 37% of students in 2008-09, the share of English jumped to almost 49% by 2013-14.
The district with the highest proportion of students in the English medium was, not surprisingly, New Delhi (almost 80%) followed by South West Delhi (64%) and East Delhi (56%). The districts with the lowest proportion in English medium were all in the northern part of the state — North East (35%), North West and North (both 42%).
In the five years between 2008-09 and 2013-14, the total enrolment in Hindi medium fell by over 1.4 lakh, while the enrolment in English medium in the same period rose by almost 4.5 lakh.
These trends are revealed in data from the states put together by the District Information System for Education (DISE) of the National University of Education Planning and Administration under the human resource development ministry. DISE has been covering unrecognised schools and recognised and unrecognised madrasas since 2010-11.
If the Delhi data is to be believed, there are no unrecognised schools in the capital though the all-India data shows that unrecognised schools comprised 2.4% of all schools in 2013-14. A total of 5,387 schools have been covered in Delhi. The number for English enrolment could be much higher if the hundreds of unrecognised so-called English medium schools in Delhi were counted.
Interestingly, two of the districts with the least proportion of children in English medium, North East and North, have shown the highest growth in enrolment in English medium, about 90% and 64% respectively.
Most districts showing high enrolment in English medium are also those with a large proportion of private schools such as East and South West where there are almost as many private schools as government schools. However, in New Delhi district, a relatively small district with just 98 schools and with the highest proportion of English medium students, the number of government schools is higher, 58, compared to just 40 private schools.
Without exception, in every district, government schools dominate among schools with only primary section, and hence the number of children in Hindi medium too is highest in the primary section with a gradual shift to English medium in the higher classes. This is in keeping with the pattern in other states as well.