Delhi dropouts: Increase in education budget fails to keep fifth grade pupils in school

Despite Delhi government’s claims to have introduced ‘revolutionary’ measures to uplift education sector, the capital city has seen a 5.31 percent jump in school dropout rate in fifth standard in last three years shows UDISE data.

The Unified District Information System data belongs to the 2015-16 financial year, in which the Delhi government increased it’s budget allocation in education sector by 106 percent.

While presenting the first budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the financial year 2015-16, the finance minister Manish Sisodiya announced that the largest chunk of the government fund was allocated to the education sector which was 9,836 crore. But the increase in budget was responded to by an increase in dropout rate in fifth standard by 2.93 percent in that year.

Prior to that financial year, drop out rate in fifth standard was as low as 2.38 percent, while the year before that, the capital city saw not a single child leaving school in the said level.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

While the UDISE data shows that nearly 54,000 students dropped out during the last three years from various kinds of schools in Delhi, lowest rate of drop out was in sixth to seventh standard at 0.76 percent in the year 2015-16. Ashok Agarwal an activist and advocate told Firstpost that in 2015-16 the highest rate of dropout has been recorded in fifth standard at 5.31 percent, during the transition period of switching from Municipal Corporation of Delhi schools to Delhi government ones.

Explaining the reason behind this phenomenon he said that many student do not take admission for further studies after they pass out from MCD schools in fifth standard.

“Earlier the problem was that the parents had to face various difficulties including administrative ones, in admitting their wards in Delhi government schools. Many of them ended up without taking admission in any school,” he said.

“So the High Court ordered, in the year 2002, the MCD schools to mention the name of the government school where the student has to take admission in the transfer certificate itself,” he said.

To add further convenience to the process of transition it was ordered by the government that the MCD schools should send the names of the students, who passed fifth standard, directly to the government schools so that the student can start attending classes in the new school just by completing minimum formality related to admission.
“The new system resulted in decrease in dropout rates in fifth standard. In the year 2013-14 it came down to zero percent. But sudden rise in number of children leaving school again in this level is alarming,” he added.

Only recently Mukta Gupta, a High Court judge said quoting a government document that 33,744 students dropped out in the last two years from MCD schools.

Shashi Kant Singh, Principal of a government school in Dwarka told Firspost that many of the students do not take admission even if their names are sent by the MCD schools.

“If a school sends names of 270 students normally 230 of them finally show up for admission,” he said.

He also said that it was difficult to assess why some students never show up for admission, but he surmised that some among them take admission in the schools in the neighboring states.

Ashok Agarwal attributes the sudden rise in dropout rates to the neglect showed by the Delhi government towards the MCD schools.

“The schemes introduced by the education department to decrease dropout rates are meant for the students studying in the schools run by the Delhi government,” he said.

He also added that no scheme has been introduced to do the same in MCD schools. This is the prime reason why dropout rates have jumped to an alarming level in these schools.

He said that there is no scheme initiated by the education department even to bring these students back to school.

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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2017 18:36:43 IST

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