Highest number of school dropouts in Bangalore Urban district

A total of 1.70 lakh children were out of school in the last academic year in the State with Bangalore Urban district having the highest number of such kids. Children belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the Muslim community formed the major chunk of them.

These are the findings of the out of school children (OOSC) survey undertaken by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in November last year, following the directions of the Karnataka High Court to determine the exact dropout rates. 

A high-level Inter-Departmental Coordination Committee, which included a number of officials from the Primary and Secondary Education department, met on Tuesday to discuss the findings of the OOSC survey and work on a future action plan. The gender ratio of the total OOSC figure was more or less equal. Of the total figure of 1.70 lakh out-of-school children, 86,705 were boys and 83,820 girls.

As many as 18,393 children in Bangalore Urban South district dropped out of school in 2013-14, of which 9,705 were boys and 8,688 girls. This was closely followed by Gulbarga with 15,468 children – 7,683 boys and 7,785 girls; and Raichur with 12,128 – 5,619 boys and 6,509 girls, respectively.

Uttara Kannada had the lowest out-of-school-children figures with only 686 out of school during this time. Of these, 423 were boys and 263 girls. The second lowest OOSC figures came from Sirsi educationl district with a total figure of 1,066 out-of-school children – 572 boys and 494 girls. Udupi with 1,008 children – 535 boys and 473 girls out of school had the third lowest figure.

Yadgir had the highest percentage of school dropouts with 6.32 per cent, while Dakshina Kannada with 0.66 had the lowest. The State average dropout out rate was 2.30 per cent.

Of the 1.70 lakh OOSCs, 47,559 belonged to the Scheduled Tribes. This was followed very closely at 46,336 by OBC children and 33,300 children belonging to the Muslim community.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, a source said that the government will seek from the High Court two months’ time to prepare an action plan to bring in preventive measures to check dropout rates. “In fact, a draft of the ‘preventive protocol’ has already been prepared by the education department and it needs to be vetted within two weeks,” added the source.

Officials also highlighted the need to co-ordinate the efforts of various departments to bring down the dropout rates. “The Labour department as well as the Women and Child Welfare department have their own figures on children. They need to be co-ordinated,” said the source.

The High Court had admitted a public interest litigation petition on the issue of out-of-school children following a newspaper report that put the State dropout figure at 51,994 students aged between six and 14. The government has to submit the findings of the survey to the court on Wednesday.

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