More than 2,000 early childhood development education centres (ECDEs) were shut down last year even as more pupils enrolled into pre-primary one and two across the country.
Most of the closed ECDEs were public (1,411), while at least 777 private pre-primary schools were shut, the Economic Survey 2023 has shown.
The survey also shows that at least 190 private primary schools stopped operations, even as 65 more public primary schools were registered.
“The total number of pre-primary, primary and secondary schools declined by 2.7 per cent from 83,747 in 2021 to 81,454 in 2022, mainly due to a decrease in the number of registered pre-primary and private primary schools,” the survey states.
It notes that the number of secondary schools rose by 0.2 per cent, recording an increase in both private and public secondary schools.
While many ECDEs were shut down, however, the survey noted an increase in the number of pupils enrolled into the institutions, to reach 2.867 million.
The survey also noted that, in primary schools, while the number of pupils continued to grow, the number of teachers in public primary schools declined last year.
“Overall, the number of public primary teachers declined by 0.4 per cent from 222,443 in 2021 to 221,510 in 2022. This could be partly attributed to retirement, teachers on disciplinary, study leave and natural attrition,” it stated.
Enrolment in secondary schools grew by 5.4 per cent from 3.7 million in 2021 to 3.9 million in 2022, with girls topping boys with 5.1 per cent more enrolment to hit 2 million students, while enrolment of boys increased by 3.9 per cent to 1.9 million in 2022.
The survey also notes that enrolment into teacher training institutions rose by 9.5 per cent to 17,984 mainly on account of an increase in the number of female teacher trainees by 25.2 per cent to 12,197 in 2022.
Student enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) institutions, on the other hand, grew by 11.7 per cent from 503,800 in 2021 to 562,500 in 2022.
But overall, the number of students placed to undertake a degree, diploma, certificate and artisan courses in universities, middle-level colleges and Tvet institutions went down by 6.3 per cent from 272,776 in 2021/22 to 255,612 in 2022/23.