According to data provided by the Education minister in the Parliament on Monday, the dropout rate among school children in the country is increasing. The data, which has been prepared by the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), an autonomous body under Ministry of Human Resource Development, says the increase in dropout rate is visible in all primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary school children. The government has presented numbers from year 2014-2015 to 2016-2017 in an answer provided in the Lok Sabha by the minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar.
While the children dropping out of schools in secondary and higher secondary increased continuously for three years, in primary and upper primary, the increase happened only in the last year (2016-2017) after the numbers witnessed a decrease in the previous year (2015-2016).
The minister, however, did not mention the reasons for the increase in numbers.
There is an increase of more than 2 percent in children going to primary schools in 2016-2017 year than its previous year, it increased to 6.35 per cent to 40.13 per cent.
The upper primary numbers saw an increase of more than 1.5 percent for the same period. The dropout rate increased from 4.03 per cent to 5.67 per cent.
The secondary school numbers increased from 20.14 per cent in 2014-2015 to 22.13 per cent in 2016-17. The dropout among higher secondary students also saw increase in the same period, but the difference here is almost 10 per cent. The dropout rate in this category increased from 4.33 per cent to 13.09 per cent.
However, the 2016-17 numbers are much higher than its previous year-- a total of 13.9 per cent --, as in 2015-16 the dropout rate reported was in negative.
According to an official from NIEPA, the increase might have caused by various factors.
"One plausible explanation for this is the coverage of the total schools and students surveyed in the last year. In some states, they might have cut down the number of schools," the official told NDTV.
He also said another reason might be methodology adopted by the surveyors.
The dropout rate details the proportion of pupils from a cohort enrolled in a given stage at a given school year who are no longer enrolled in the following school year.
NIEPA collects information from all the schools (government, aided and private) annually on various educational indicators including drop-out rate across all States and UTs through Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE).
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