The Economic Survey 2023 has reported an increase in enrolment into teacher training institutions by 9.5% to 17,984. This growth is mainly due to an increase in the number of female teacher trainees by 25.2% to 12,197 in 2022.
This is a welcome development as it indicates that efforts to encourage more women to pursue teaching careers are yielding results.
Furthermore, student enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions grew by 11.7% from 503,800 in 2021 to 562,500 in 2022.
This growth in enrolment indicates that more students are opting for TVET institutions, which offer practical and job-oriented courses.
However, the survey also revealed that the number of students placed to undertake a degree, diploma, certificate, and artisan courses in universities, middle-level colleges, and TVET institutions decreased by 6.3% from 272,776 in 2021/22 to 255,612 in 2022/23.
This decline in enrolment for higher education is a concern, and efforts should be made to encourage more students to pursue further education.
According to economists, the consequences of declining enrollment in higher education could be severe. It may indicate a new generation that places little value on obtaining a college degree, or at a minimum, individuals who chose not to attend college.
This could worsen labour shortages across a range of fields such as healthcare and information technology. Additionally, individuals without degrees are more likely to lose jobs during an economic downturn.