Statistics of the first head-count of the academic year held last week showed that the number of students in state-run and government aided schools fell by 1.21 lakh this year.
While these categories of schools had a total of 43.51 lakh students last year, the latest count put it at 42.3 lakh, sources in the General Education Department said.
The head count is held on the sixth working day of the academic year annually. The exercise would be repeated after a month to confirm the results. The aided schools showed greater fall of nearly 95,000 in number of children than the those run directly by the government.
Confirming the perception that change in demographic profile as the main factor for the decline of children in schools, the enrolment in the first standard dipped to 3.22 lakh from 3.37 lakh last year.
According to official figures, based on 2001 census, the proportion of children (0-14 age) to the total population of Kerala stood at 26.1 per cent, which was lower compared to most other states. According to demographers, this trend might have sharpened in the last one decade. In contrast, Kerala is one of the fast ageing Indian state where the number of those above 60 years of age has been steadily increasing.