In Several States, School Dropout Rate At Secondary Level Higher Than National Average: Study

New Delhi: West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar and Tripura are among more than a dozen states where the dropout rate at the secondary level was higher than the national average of 14.6 percent, according to official data.

The central government has suggested these states to take special steps to reduce the dropout rate.

This information has been obtained from the minutes of the meetings of the Project Approval Board (PAB) under the Ministry of Education on the ‘Samagra Shiksha’ program for 2022-23. These meetings were held from April to July with different states.

According to sources, the government wants to achieve 100 percent Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) at the school level by 2030 as per the target in the new National Education Policy and considers dropout as a hindrance.

According to the PAB, the dropout rate at secondary level in Bihar in 2020-21 is 21.4 percent, Gujarat 23.3 percent, Madhya Pradesh 23.8 percent, Odisha 16.04 percent, Jharkhand 16.6 percent, Tripura 26 percent and Karnataka Went. 16.6 percent.

According to the documents, the estimated number of children with special needs (CWSNs) enrolled in schools in Delhi during the relevant period was 61,051, of whom 67.5 per cent dropped out or could not be identified. The PAB has asked the Delhi government to expedite the work of bringing dropout children back to the mainstream of school education.

The dropout rate at secondary level in Andhra Pradesh was 37.6 per cent in 2019-20, which declined to 8.7 per cent in 2020-21. The PAB has asked the state to continue its efforts to further reduce the dropout rate.

According to the documents, in 2020-21, 12.5 per cent students at the secondary level in Uttar Pradesh dropped out with an average of 11.9 per cent for boys and 13.2 per cent for girls.

The dropout rate at the secondary level in 10 districts of West Bengal is more than 15 percent. The PAB has asked the state to prepare a special action plan to bring down this rate.

In Assam in 2020-21, 19 districts at the secondary level registered dropout rates of more than 30 per cent. In Nagaland, the rate was over 30 per cent in eight districts. The drop out rate at the secondary level was 7.1 percent in Kerala, 8.41 percent in Uttarakhand and 10.17 percent in Goa.

A recent survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that 33 percent of girls drop out of school because of domestic work and 25 percent because of marriage.

According to UNICEF, it was also found in many places that after leaving school, children started working with their families as laborers or cleaning people’s homes.

Anil Swarup, former secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy, said that ‘mapping’ of children outside the purview of school education should be done at the gram panchayat and ward level.

He also said that teacher-parent level meeting should be organized at least once a month in schools to spread awareness on this important issue.

The dropout students should be identified and informed by visiting their homes as sometimes there are no good exam results or family situation is also the reason for their dropping out of school, he said.

(This report has been published as part of an auto-generated Syndicate wire feed. Apart from the title, no edits have been made to the copy by ABP Live.)

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