Several states had secondary school dropout rates that were greater than the national average of 14.6%, including West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar, and Tripura, according to official data.
These states have been advised by the central government to take further measures to lower the dropout rate.
The Project Approval Board (PAB), which is part of the Ministry of Education, received this information from the minutes of its meetings about the “Samagra Shiksha” programme for 2022–2023. Between April and July, these meetings were held with several states.
As stated in the new National Education Policy, the government aspires to achieve a 100% Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) at the school level by 2030 and views dropout as a barrier.
According to the PAB, the dropout rate at the secondary level in 2020–21 was 21.4% in Bihar, 23.3% in Gujarat, 23.8% in Madhya Pradesh, 16.4% in Odisha, 16.6% in Jharkhand, 16.6% in Tripura, and 16.6% in Karnataka.
The documents state that there were approximately 61,051 children with special needs (CWSNs) enrolled in Delhi schools throughout the relevant period, of which 67.5 percent either dropped out or were unable to be located. The Delhi administration has been tasked by the PAB to swiftly finish the process of resettling dropout children into the system of mainstream education.
In Andhra Pradesh, the secondary dropout rate was 37.6% in 2019–20; however, that number dropped to 8.7% in 2020–21. The PAB has urged the state to keep up its efforts to further lower the dropout rate.
The documents state that in Uttar Pradesh, secondary school dropout rates were 12.5% in 2020–21, with an average of 11.9% for boys and 13.2% for girls.
In ten districts in West Bengal, there are more than 15% of secondary school dropouts. The state has been urged by the PAB to create a unique action plan to lower this rate.
Over 30% of secondary school dropouts were recorded in 19 districts in Assam in 2020–21. In eight districts of Nagaland, this rate exceeded 30%. In Kerala, 7.1% of secondary school students dropped out, compared to 8.41% in Uttarakhand and 10.17% in Goa.
According to a recent UNICEF poll, 25 percent of girls drop out of school owing to marriage and 33 percent are affected by domestic work.
The UNICEF reported that it was also discovered in numerous locations that children began working as labourers with their families or cleaning people’s homes after finishing school.
Anil Swarup, a former secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy, recommended “mapping” children who are not enrolled in school at the ward and gram panchayat levels.
Additionally, he recommended holding teacher-parent level meetings in schools at least once a month to raise awareness of this crucial topic.
He said that dropout kids should be found and contacted by going to their homes because, occasionally, poor exam results or a difficult family situation are also reasons why students leave school.