Belying the tall claims of J&K government of increasing the enrolment in government schools, the drop-out ratio of students has in fact increased by six percent in schools across the State.
This was revealed in the last Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting convened by union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with the J&K’s school education department on March 10.
As per the minutes of the meeting released by MHRD, the union ministry has pulled up the representatives from J&K state over the increase in the drop-out rate of the students in the schools.
Interestingly, PAB meeting for allocation of budget and plan for approval of Annual Work Plan and Budget 2017-18 for the J&K state under RAshtriya Madhiyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) was chaired by Joint Secretary (JS), School Education (MHRD).
From J&K the meeting was attended by a delegation headed by the then Principal Secretary School education department Shalin Kabra.
In the meeting, the JS has taken a serious note of the increasing drop-out ratio in the government schools.
It was revealed in the meeting that the enrolment in schools has decreased by 7.73 percent from 2015-16 to the academic year of 2016-17 respectively.
The enrolment of schools in 2015-16 was 338349 which decreased to 312191in 2016-17.
“The enrolment in schools has decreased by 26158 (7.73 percent) from past one year,” read the minutes of the meeting released by MHRD.
The meeting has also discussed the low rate of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at secondary level, which according to the minutes is “subsequently lower than the National average.”
“The GER has further decreased from 66.81 percent in 2015-16 to 61 percent in 2016-17,” reveal the minutes.
The state representatives had faced embarrassment over the dwindling National Enrolment Ratio (NER) which has decreased from 43.55 percent in 2015-16 to 39.28 percent in 2016-17.
The union ministry has expressed its concern over the decrease in all major education indicators in the state during the year 2016-17.
“The state was apprised that the GER, NER as well as ANER is very low in the J&K state and much lower than the national average,” read the minutes of the meeting.
The union ministry has also taken a note of low Gross Access Ratio (GAR) of students in J&K state following which Principal Secretary Education, J&K has pleaded before the MHRD to consider their proposal for up gradation of the schools so as to improve access.
“Regarding the low retention rate, the state government informed that due to no detention policy upto class 8th , the retention of students in class 9th becomes difficult and the state is undertaking a review of the no detention policy and expects substantial improvement after policy review,” read the minutes of the meeting.
Interestingly, the retention rate at state level has decreased from 81.69 percent in 2015-16 to 76.72 percent in 2016-17 academic year.
“The Gender Parity Index (GPI) at state level has also decreased from 0.97 percent in 2015-16 to 0.96 in 2016-17,” the minutes of the meeting reveal.
The union ministry has however appreciated the improvement in the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) and Student Class room Ratio (SCR) from 2015-16 to 2016-17 academic year.
“The PTR at state level has improved from 15 (2015-16) to 13 (2016-17) while as the SCR has seen an improvement from 28 in 2015-16 to 25 in 2016-17 academic year,” read the minutes of the meeting.
Besides the then Principal Secretary Shalin Kabra, State Project Director (SPD) RMSA Saughat Biswas and other officials of the department were present in the meeting.