First signs of dropout rate falling among students

Pilot survey of out of schoolchildren in two clusters gives hope

 The recent pilot survey of out of schoolchildren (OOSC) in a couple of clusters by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) kindles hope as it is claimed that the dropout rate has come down compared to previous surveys and analyses. But it may still be early days to draw conclusions as officials say that the statewide survey is slated only for November.

The SSA has compiled preliminary figures based on the survey in Channasandra cluster in Bangalore South and Dibbur in Chikkaballapur. Subodh Yadav, state project director of SSA, said that the number of OOSC according to the fresh survey is far less than previous surveys and analyses.

The survey, conducted in the beginning of September, came in the wake of conflicting statistics with regard to the number of OOSC in State. The survey aimed to give more accurate dropout figures. Conducted over a period of 10 days, the survey shows the number of OOSC to be 309 in Channasandra and 29 in Dibbur.

In Channasandra, 103 students dropped out as per the household survey, 38 have never enrolled in school and 168 have left without transfer certificate (TC). In Dibbur, 15 left without TC, eight dropped out as per household survey and six have never enrolled in school.

According to SSA officials, one of the unique features of this survey was an analysis of school records in these two clusters that may have not been done in earlier surveys. Accordingly, 729 and 138 children left schools with TCs in the two clusters respectively.
“We also found that the figures of OOSC varied greatly from school to school, block to block and district to district,” said Yadav.

Another major finding of the survey relates to the fact that the data provided by private schools, especially those in urban areas, is extremely skewed. An official in the department said, “These private schools filled whatever random data they wanted to, as a result of which they were extremely unreliable.”

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