National Girl Child Day: Educational schemes curb girls’ secondary dropout rates in UP - Hindustan Times
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National Girl Child Day: Educational schemes curb girls’ secondary dropout rates in UP

By, Lucknow
Jan 25, 2024 07:16 AM IST

The latest report from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for India painted a concerning picture for the state capital, indicating a marginal drop in the number of women with higher education.

As January 24 is celebrated annually as National Girl Child Day, it becomes imperative to examine the educational achievements of girls, given that women’s education is considered a crucial element for societal progress. In Uttar Pradesh, there have been reported improvements in girls’ dropout rates over the years.

For Representation Only (HT File)
For Representation Only (HT File)

However, the latest report from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) for India painted a concerning picture for the state capital, indicating a marginal drop in the number of women with higher education.

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While overall growth can be observed among young girls in Uttar Pradesh, thanks to the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme and its outreach to numerous villages, the statistics take a different turn when focusing on Lucknow. According to the latest data from NFHS released by the Ministry of Family and Health Welfare in 2021, the percentage of women with over 10 years of education in Lucknow has declined from 56.3 percent to 51.9 percent.

This data is released every five years by the ministry, and the next cycle will be released in 2024. According to a report released by the ministry of education, the maximum number of out-of-school children at the elementary level is also in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Gujarat, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. With children opting out of elementary education, and girls not completing their secondary learning, the various schemes that have picked up pace in the state would be responsible for the improvement or decline in the statistics in the 2024 data.

In the time since the last NFHS data and the publishing of the upcoming one, UP has shown improvements in some key areas. In 2021-22, 88.28% of girls enrolled for upper primary after completing primary education, while 79.74% of girls who passed Class 10 took admission in Class 11. Most notably, data released by the state government also showed that for the year 2021 to 2022, over 14% more girls opted for higher secondary education after completing their secondary education than in the year 2019-2020.

Joint director of Holistic Education (Secondary) Shantwana Tiwari cites a couple of other key reasons why young girls are more encouraged to continue with schooling. “Apart from education schemes, there are other things also that make the school a more holistic environment for a girl,” she said. “Many young girls would drop out when their menstruation cycles would start; the government has now installed sanitary pad vending machines in all government girls and co-ed government schools.”

She continued that all 2389 government schools have self-defense training sessions for the girls, which is also a big attraction for them. “The next NFHS is bound to reflect the results of all these schemes,” she added.

With schemes like the Bal Seva Yojana, which includes orphaned children and beggar children in the government education system being implemented in the last three years, tangible changes can be observed. For instance, in the last UP Board exams, girls outperformed boys. The Kanya Sumangala Yojana Scheme, Free Coaching Scheme, and Protsahan Yojana have all discouraged girl children from dropping out after completing their primary and secondary education.

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