Just talk about ‘Betty Padhao’! More than half of the girls are Std. Must leave school before 12 p.m.

Highlights:

  • More girls drop out due to water availability and sanitation
  • Only 44% of boys studied up to standard 12 after starting studies from standard 1
  • Parents do not send their daughters to school even if the distance between school and home is long

Parth Shastri and Bharat Yagnik, Ahmedabad: The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) -5 conducted during 2019-21 shows that only 45 out of 100 students in Gujarat who started education from Std 1 reached Std 12. However, the figure is not limited to girls only.

The survey found that, even among boys, only 59 out of every 100 students reached 12th standard. According to the survey, the decline was 55.1 per cent for girls compared to 41.2 per cent for boys.

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If we compare the NFHS-3 figures conducted in 2005-06, the state is clearly lagging behind in this Social Development Index despite the improvement in the situation.

Compared to 57 per cent boys and 44 per cent girls in higher secondary school in 2019-21, only 36 per cent boys and 28 per cent girls were able to reach 12th standard about 15 years ago.

The findings of the survey show that in Gujarat, 82% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 went to school. This includes 87 per cent urban areas and 79 per cent rural areas. Attendance was 71% in 2005-06.

Attendance in both rural and urban areas has increased to 74% and 69% in 2005-06, respectively.

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Bharat Gajipara, president of the Gujarat Self-Finance School Association, said that the dropout percentage in the lower classes is not high as fewer students fail. “There is a major change in the tenth standard, where our results have been around 65 to 70 per cent for years. Students who fail are less likely to continue their studies. For girls, the distance between school and home is a major factor, they are more likely to get primary education than boys, as parents are keen to give them basic education. But when the secondary and higher secondary schools are not close, they take a dropout from the school, ”he said.

Rajesh Bhate, founder of Bal Manch, an NGO working for child education in the villages of Gujarat, said that water availability and sanitation is also a major factor.

Rajesh Bhat, founder of Bal Manch, an NGO working with child education in the villages of Gujarat, said that availability of water and sanitation is also a major factor. ‘Schools which do not have separate toilets have low attendance of girls. The availability of water is one more problem with menstruation in the upper class, ”he said.

‘The number is improving mainly due to earlier initiatives like Madhyahan Bhojan Yojana and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Narayan Patel, a former board member of the Gujarat Board of Secondary Education (GSEB), which has been involved in the education and examination process for more than three decades, said the disappearance of grant-in-aid schools in some parts of the state could be one of the reasons behind the dropout.

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