Rageshri GangulyTimes News NetworkJan 3, 2015
More than 4.5 lakh of children in MP still don't go to school. Also the state has earned the dubious distinction of having one of the worst dropout rates in the country, much higher than the national average.
This as per a national sample survey of estimation of out-of-school children in the 6-13 age group conducted by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). According to Right to Education (RTE) Act, an out-of-school child is either not enrolled or has been absent for more than 45 working days or has discontinued studies from school.
MP's neighbours have less number of out-of-school kids in comparison. While Naxal-infested and tribal- dominated Chhattisgarh has 1.6 lakh kids out of school, Gujarat and Maharashtra have 1.5 lakh and 1.4 lakh children, who don't attend school respectively.
However, two other neighbours- Rajasthan and UP have more number of out-of-school kids. While the former has almost 6 lakh such kids, UP has 16 lakh kids, who are out of school. Also, the total number of children in the state is more than 4 crore.
The 4.5 lakh out-of-school children account for 3.78% of total kids in the state. Interestingly though, more number of urban kids are out of school (4.61%) than their rural counterparts (3.58%). The state is also among the worst performers where dropout rates are the highest among its neighbouring states. The state has a dropout rate of 52% compared to Chhattisgarh (42.8%), UP (28.9%), Rajasthan (36.6%), Maharashtra (29%) and Gujarat (44.4%). Among the 4.5 lakh kids, who are not in schools, around 77,000 are slum children while more than 50,000 are children with special needs (CWSN).
MP also lags far behind the national average of around 37% in dropout rate of kids from school.
SSA is government of India's flagship programme for achievement of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE). It looks at elementary education for all as mandated by the 86th amendment to the Constitution which makes free and compulsory education to children between 6- 14 years of age a fundamental right.
The survey's findings were recently posted on the SSA's website. Click Here to Download. Those surveyed cited poverty and economic conditions as the foremost reasons. Besides, girls reported that they needed to help in domestic work or take care of younger siblings. Surveyed households also reported education was not considered necessary by the head of the house.