In a first, special mission to check school dropout in UP

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Officials of the secondary and basic education departments of Uttar Pradesh will work together as part of a joint initiative to put a check on children dropping out of schools.

As part of a unique state-wide initiative to be undertaken across all 75 districts, these officials will ensure that all successful class 8 students of upper primary schools, including government-run, government-aided and unaided institutions, enrol in class 9 this year to continue studies, officials said.

This step is being taken by the state government to put a stop on the high count of students who drop out of schools in UP at this level, they add.

Director (Basic Education) Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh has sent a missive in this regard.

“I have instructed all block education officers to implement this order on a priority and intimate regarding the steps undertaken,” said Praygraj basic shiksha adhikari (BSA) Sanjay Kumar Kushwaha while confirming the development.

As part of the initiative, principals/headmasters of the over 55,000 upper primary schools – including government-run and government-aided ones – will prepare a list of students of class 8 passing out of their respective institutions this year and also mark details regarding students among them who have taken admission in class 9, he said. The wardens will prepare this information at Kasturba Gandhi Residential Girls’ Schools running in the state, he added. The missive makes plain that principals of government-aided and non-aided schools will prepare and provide information to the district inspectors of schools (DIOSs) while the department of basic education will also make its information available to the respective DIOSs. The DIOSs will then provide the information received from both sources to the camp office of the state director (secondary education), Lucknow.

After analysing the data, the two departments will zero in on students who after passing class 8 have failed to take admission in class 9 and then undertake a special drive to get all such students enrolled in schools so that they continue their education.

Under the right to education (RTE), education till class 8 is free but class 9 onwards parents have to bear the cost of not just the school fee but also books, school uniforms, school bags etc and a large number of students end up discontinuing studies.

According to an estimate, the net enrolment rate (NER) in UP at the elementary level is 79.86%— 9 percentage points lower than the all India average of 88.94%. The state has an annual dropout rate of 8.58% at the primary level, which is the 6th highest in the country and more than double the all India average of 4.13%. Also, the state’s primary to upper-primary transition rate of 79.1% is the 4th lowest in the country—11.04 percentage points below the national average of 90.14%.