Bengal ranks first in decline of school dropout rate: Survey – education

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West Bengal occupies the top position in the decline of dropout rate among school students all the way through 2018-2020, the ruling Trinamool Congress said in a commentary quoting a national survey.

According to the Annual State of Education Outline (ASER) 2020, the school dropout rate in the state declined from 3.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent while it went up from four per cent to 5.5 per cent at the national level, the commentary said.

The dropout rate in some bigger states like Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan used to be 11.3 per cent, 14 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively, the commentary said quoting the survey conducted among 52,227 families of 16,974 villages in 584 districts of 26 states.

According to the survey, West Bengal also holds the first position in the country on the subject of text books given to the students with 99.7 per cent coverage, while in bigger states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, the same stands at 79.6 per cent, 60.4 per cent, 95 per cent, 34.6 per cent and 80.8 per cent respectively, the commentary said quoting the outline.

“West Bengals initiative to continue education all the way through the COVID-19 pandemic through digital and other electronic modes has also been acknowledged in the outline,” it said.

Chairman of the Syllabus Committee Aveek Majumder told PTI, the remarkable decline in the dropout rate used to be made conceivable by the continual efforts of the state to make sure that not a unmarried child, including girls, left studies because of financial reasons.

“We have been following a policy where each child in state-run and state-aided school is provided text books according to the curriculum determined by the syllabus committee. This has been going on for past several years. The high percentage is a reflection of that policy,” he said.

Right through the pandemic, the school education branch ensured that students were imparted tutorials in the most efficient conceivable manner as the institutions were closed, Majumder said.

“From tutorials on TV channels to online classes, each conceivable alternative used to be adopted in the present situation. In madrasas, parents were provided study materials all the way through noon meal distribution on sure dates and the guardians returned the home tasks on designated dates later on,” he said.

Asked whether classes may also be resumed on TV channels with no definite information on school reopening yet, Majumder said, “we can go by the advisory of the state and come to a decision accordingly”.

The ASER outline is an initiative by the Pratham Education Foundation which conducts a survey in all of the country yearly.

Pratham is likely one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the country which works towards providing quality education to underprivileged children.

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