Bhubaneswar: Though Odisha has effectively brought down the school drop-out rate in primary and upper Primary to around 6 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively, in 2018-19 from a high of 38 per cent and 56 per cent in 2002-03, respectively, the drop-out rate of girls, it is still in double digits in the undivided KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region.
As per the statement tabled in the State Assembly today, Rayagada district topped the State with highest girls drop-out rate of over 17.5 per cent in upper primary schools. Data interpretation further revealed that drops out rates were around 10 per cent in the KBK region.
While Malkangiri followed with a rate of 16.14 per cent, it was 9.6 per cent in Koraput. The drop-out rates of girls in Kalahandi was at around 12 per cent and Nabarangpur has a rate of 11.8 per cent.
In the coastal region, Jajpur records high girls drop-out rate of 12.3 per cent at the upper primary level. The district has a significant chunk of tribal and dalit population.
In contrast, Jagatsinghpur and Dhenkanal recorded the lowest drop-out rates of 1.58 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.
In his response to a related query, S&ME Minister Samir R Dash had listed out factors like poverty, adolescent problems, domestic work, social customs and poor academic performance etc as reasons behind the drop-outs.
In fact, upper primary classes mean standard 6th, 7th and 8th. The higher drop-out rates in these standards vis-a-vis primary schools (std 1-5) can also be attributed to school education going pricey.
As per ASER reports, nearly 24 per cent of students studying in Classes-VI-VIII were spending Rs 100 on tuitions in 2014, but the proportion shrunk to a mere 18 per cent in 2016. On the contrary, a rise of around 11 per cent had been observed in children spending more than Rs 200 or Rs 300.
The ASER data indicates that school edu has become pricey in the State. Now, students take tuitions on more subjects to clear the exams. The result is expenses on private tuitions have increased.
And those who have no propensity to spend more, opt out of the school system. For which, the undivided KBK along with Jajpur had witnessed higher drop-out rates.