Wednesday, February 12, 2014

25% girls drop out after Class IV, CRY survey says

25% girls drop out after Class IV, CRY survey says

Banjot Kaur Bhatia, TNN Jan 24, 2014, 01.09AM IST

PATNA: At least 25% of the children drop out of schools after Class IV in Bihar. That's the revelation of a survey carried out in 210 primary schools of 21 of the state's 38 districts.
According to the study conducted by Child Relief and You (CRY) and Bihar Lok Adhikar Manch (BLAM), over 8,000 children were enrolled in Class I, but the number dropped to about 6,000 in Class V with most of the dropouts being girls. "Non-availability of toilets and preoccupation with household chores are the most common reasons why the girls choose to stay home," said CRY's senior manager Saradindu Bandhopadhyay.
Girls accounted for less than half of the students in these schools. While the schools in Jamui, Patna and Bhagalpur districts had more girls on their enrolment registers, fewer girls were in the schools in Lakhisarai.
An equally important concern, the report said, is pupil-teacher ratio which stood at 50:1 as against 35:1 mandated by the Right to Education (RTE). While Patna was the best performing district in this regard, Gaya was the worst where there was one teacher for every 180 students. Many schools were found to have only one teacher who had to teach, manage the school administration and get prepared the midday meal for the students.
Only 0.12% of the teachers in the 210 schools, surveyed in June 2013, were aware of the RTE. Only 37% of the teachers had undergone training. The state's primary education set-up rests mainly on contractual teachers with over 79% teachers appointed on contract, according to the survey.
The report said only 10% schools had all-weather classrooms. Often, the schools were found holding multiple classes in one room. The report said books were available only in 35% schools while separate toilets for boys and girls were not available in 40% of the schools.
As a part of a nationwide campaign, CRY and BLAM released a 'Child Rights Manifesto' for Bihar on Thursday. BLAM's state patron Uday said they met leaders of major political parties in the state who agreed to incorporate issues like better implementation of Integrated Child Development Scheme and RTE as well as reducing infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. "Bihar ranks quite high in child marriages. Child labour is rampant despite legislations," Uday said, adding they would spread public awareness about the need to vote as per child policies of political parties.

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