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Home / Patna / Dropouts, quality concerns bug education sector

Dropouts, quality concerns bug education sector

Bihar’s economic survey presents a dismal education scenario, with high dropout rate at secondary and higher secondary school levels.

patna Updated: Feb 23, 2017 21:19 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Mahadalit children being taught in Bihar’s Nalanda district under the pilot project.
Mahadalit children being taught in Bihar’s Nalanda district under the pilot project.(HT File Photo)

Just 42% of students enrolled in standard 1 are able to complete their secondary education, while just 38% completed higher secondary as per Bihar Economic Survey, 2016-17. 

The survey admits, high drop out rates have negated the advantage of high enrolments witnessed in recent years, a point underlined in the recent annual status of education report (ASER) also.

Though drop out rate showed decrease from 2010-11 to 2014-15 in the primary and upper primary stage, it continues to be uncomfortably high in the secondary and higher secondary stage. 

Grey Areas
  • Quality a big concern, as is dropout rate
  • Significant increase in school meal coverage
  • Expenditure on education as % of budget down
  • Decline in gender gap with girls’ enrolment high
  • Patna district has the highest number of schools

The silver lining, however, is that at all levels of education – elementary, secondary and higher secondary- the drop out rate of girls, including SC girls, is lower than that of boys, which can be attributed to government’s focus on girls’ education. 

The survey says, due to huge recruitment since 2006, Bihar has improved teachers’ strength in schools. But it still requires many more to conform to 40:1 Pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) on the basis of enrolment and 30:1 on classroom attendance, as per Manav Vikas Mission target. The state still has multi-grade classrooms and one-teacher primary schools.

What the CM recently pointed out recently also gets amply reflected through the report with regard to uneven teacher distribution. While districts like East Champaran, Patna and Muzaffarpur have over 18,000 teachers, most others have far less. 

The expenditure on education is also up – to 17.3% of the total budget in 2015-16 from 16.2% in 2010-11. However, there has been steady decline in expenditure on higher education and Bihar’s gross enrolment ratio continues to be poor at just 13% against the all India target of 30% by 2020.