Guwahati: Drop-out rates in primary schools in Assam have almost doubled in 2021-22.
Ranoj Pegu, Assam Education minister said the dropout rate in lower primary schools is 6.02 in 2021-22, and is up from 3.3% the previous year.
Quoting the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) data, Pegu said in upper primary schools in Assam, the dropout rate was 4.6% in 2020-21 and it went up to 8.8% in 2021-22.
The minister said the high drop-out rate in Assam is primarily because of the impact of COVID19 pandemic and secondly due to identification of fake students in the rolls of the primary schools.
However, the dropout rate at the secondary level schools in Assam has come down to 20.3% in 2021-22 from 31% in 2020-21, Pegu said.
The Assam minister said the rise in school drop-out rate is high across the country, and it is primarily due to the Covid pandemic.
“The entire education system, mostly the primary education suffered a lot during the lockdown and it resulted in school dropout,” Pegu said.
The Assam minister also said that many schools were caught uploading fake student enrolment figures to get various benefits like inflated mid-day meal allocation, and more money for free school uniforms and textbooks.
“To avoid closure of schools for low student enrolment, many uploaded inflated enrolment on the portal of UDISE directly,” Pegu said, adding that the massive drive of ‘data purification’ also added to the rise in the drop-out rate.
On the abolishment of 8,000 vacant posts of permanent government school teachers, the Assam minister said it was done for financial neutrality and discipline as a larger number of contractual faculty members are already working through the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).