References from documentation for NGOs and Teachers)
Tanvi Patel and CED DocumentationTeam
Education and Government Schools in India
countries, including India, have scored well
on the fronts of increasing enrolment in primary schools and
providing access to schools, they have not achieved much in ensuring
basic literacy and numeracy among children, says a World Bank report,
‘From Schooling Access to Learning Outcomes -- an Unfinished
Agenda,’ released on July 13, 2006.
rate of enrollment in schools,
about 94.9 percent at the primary level and 58.7 percent at the
primary schools increased from 209,671
in 1950-51 to 572,541 in 1992-93; the gross enrolment ratios of
children in the age group 6-11 increased from 42.6 per cent in
1950-51 to 105.7 per cent in 1992-93. However, nearly half the
children who enter Class I drop out before reaching Class V and
two-thirds of the children dropout before reaching Class VIII. A
little over one-fourth of all "drop-outs" in rural as well
as urban India give "not interested in education/further study"
as the reason for discontinuance of education. Another 16.3 percent
of rural and 20.3 percent of urban "dropouts" cite
'failure' to pass examinations as the reason for discontinuance.ii
progress towards achieving the World
Summit for Children goals, a Multiple Indicator Survey (MICS) was
conducted in all States and Union Territories of India in 2000.
MICS, in the primary school age
(6-10 years), on an average, 82 per cent (80% rural and 90% urban)
children were enrolled in school in India in 2000.
Kerala had the highest current
attendance (99 percent) and Bihar the lowest (65 percent). In states
such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana,
Jammu and Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Nagaland, Mizoram, between 85-94%
children attended school.
central states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan,
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, and
the eastern states of West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, 75-84%
children got enrolled. Bihar, Jharkand and Arunachal Pradesh came
last where the percentage of enrollment was below 75%.
While it is clear that over the
years, number of
children getting enrolled in primary school has increased, the number
of children dropping out is also high.
The Annual Survey of Education Report
produced by a leading NGO Pratham tells us that enrolment in schools
is a whopping 93.4%, which in real terms means 12.5 million children
- equal to over half the population of Australia - are not in
The Comptroller and Auditor General
(CAG) of India
in its report ending March 2005 observed, “The objective of the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) was to enroll all out-of-school children
in School, Education Guarantee Centers (EGC), Alternate schools and
back-to-school camps by 2003.
However out of 3.4 crore children (as
on 2001), 1.36
crore (40%) in the age group 6-14 years remained out of school as of
March 2005, after incurring an expenditure of Rs.11,133 crores.
Several problems persist due to which dropout rates are very high.
Apart from this, it is estimated that
almost half of
the children, mainly from the poorer government schools are not able
to read or write.
to ASER, nearly 35 per cent children in the 6-14 age group in the
slums of Mumbai cannot read, leave alone write. At the same time,
Government statistics tell us that 40 per cent of the children
enrolled in grade I, drop out of school before completing grade V.
Over 50 per cent do not make it beyond grade VII and about 66 per
cent do not cross grade X. The correlation between not being able to
read and dropping out is clear and simple. The daily humiliation in
class leaves these children no option but to leave school.
independent study, initiated in 1998 by Prof B K Chandrasekhar, and
conducted by a group of teachers working both in government and aided
schools found that 68 per cent of students of seventh standard
studying in Kannada medium in Bangalore south zone could not write
the alphabets properly either in Kannada or English. Interestingly,
the pass percentage in the seventh standard public examination in
these schools is more than 80 per cent every year!
It is easy to conclude that high
priority has been accorded to
increasing enrolment in primary schools and providing access to
school. However it is equally important to take away attention from
“quantity” towards “quality” and focus on the crucial issue
of learning outcomes.
Enrolment at schools is a necessary condition
to fulfill the goal of Universal Education but not sufficient.
There is a need to ensure that students do not “drop-out” and
complete certain minimum levels of education, as well as learning.
Source: Mapping India’s
Children, UNICEF in Action, 2004, [R.L22.641]
Source: Measuring Progress in
Education: ASER and beyond