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Enrollment and Attendance Ratios

Official entry age for primary school in India is 6 years. and the country is also committed to give free education for all children upto the age of 14 years. How many of the children in this age group of 6-14 years are really in the schools? While it is difficult to give a precise answer to the question several indicators can help assess the situation. The most important indicator pointing to the participation of children in schooling is the enrollment ratio. Table 2.5 presents the gross enrollment ratios (GER), which represents school enrollment as a ratio of the total population in the age group of 6-14 years.

Table 2.5: Gross Enrolment Ratio - National*

I-V Primary

( 6-11 years )

VI-VIII Upper Primary

( 11-14 years )

YEARS

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

1991

98.12

75.89

87.28

79.82

54.62

67.87

1992

95.0

73.46

84.6

72.5

48.94

67.5

1996

98.7

81.9

90.6

70.9

52.8

62.4

1997

98.5

81.5

90.3

66.5

49.5

58.5

Source: Growth of School Enrolment 1950-1993 MHRD, Govt. of India

Selected Educational Statistics 1997-98 of MHRD, GOI.

Gross enrollment ratios have remained relatively static during the decade. This is particularly true of the figures for boys at the primary stage (6-11 years). Corresponding figures for girls show an increase of about 6 percentage points. However, the figures indicate a decline with respect to enrolment at the upper primary stage. This is possibly due to several factors. One of these is the fact that children are not enrolled exactly at the official age specified by the state, which also varies from one state to another. As revealed by the figures related to proportion of official age children in Class I, the spread is quite large. While in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, more than 60 per cent children are enrolled in Class I when they are five year old, the level of enrollment is highest at six year in most of the states, and is quite high even for the seven year old category . (See corresponding table in data on 18 Indicators given in the Annex). This could be due to lack of school readiness and the fact that the number of first generation learners is very large in educationally backward States. Further, special enrollment drives carried out to bring even older children into the primary schools have also influenced the age composition of the school going population. Table 2.6 gives the current GER and NER figures for different States.

Table 2.6: Statewise Gross Enrollment/Net Enrollment Ratio (1997-98) At Primary Level (6-11 nyears)

 

Gross Enrollment Ratio

Net Enrollment Ratio

 

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Andhra Pradesh

89.60

92.30

86.80

68.6

71.1

66.1

Arunachal Pradesh

97.20

114.50

82.10

69.3

81.7

58.4

Assam

109.10

113.80

104.30

98.4

102.5

94.2

Bihar

76.00

90.90

59.50

75.9

90.9

59.4

Goa

86.10

97.10

76.80

61.2

68.3

55.2

Gujarat

117.6

119.9

114.5

86.4

87.7

84.7

Haryana

83.90

83.10

84.90

73.4

72.5

74.4

Himachal Pradesh

90.10

98.60

82.70

68.1

74.3

62.9

Jammu & Kashamir

67.20

82.70

53.40

55.2

68.1

43.7

Karnataka

113.2

120.7

105.5

88.6

94.2

82.8

Kerala

90.10

91.30

88.80

71.5

72.5

70.4

Madhya Pradesh

102.40

114.50

89.40

88.1

97.4

78.2

Maharashtra

112.90

115.70

110.00

84.4

86.2

82.5

Manipur

85.9

99.7

74.1

67.8

77.7

59.5

Meghalaya

93.40

101.90

86.10

50.3

54.5

46.8

Mizoram

113.60

123.00

104.60

72.6

77.7

67.6

Nagaland

94.30

103.60

86.30

58.5

64

53.6

Orissa

90.50

104.50

76.10

69.7

81

58

Punjab

81.60

80.40

83.10

70.6

68.8

72.7

Rajasthan

97.00

111.30

81.00

71.6

82.6

59.3

Sikkim

113.30

116.70

110.00

61.4

63.4

59.3

Tamil Nadu

108.60

109.80

107.30

84.6

85.7

83.6

Tripura

88.40

103.40

75.30

79.5

92

68.6

Uttar Pradesh

62.30

74.1

49.00

46.8

56

36.4

West Bengal

92.20

98.60

85.60

55.6

59.2

51.8

A&N Islands

86.90

99.60

76.20

63.8

72.1

56.7

Chandigarh

79.50

85.90

73.20

60.1

65.1

55.2

D&N Haveli

96.20

111.00

81.30

70.2

79

61.4

Daman & Diu

99.10

110.90

88.80

74.2

81.6

67.8

Delhi

89.10

97.20

81.60

67.6

74

61.7

Lakshadweep

104.50

112.80

96.3

72.8

77.2

68.4

Pondicherry

93.50

105.80

83

73.6

83.4

65.2

INDIA

90.3

98.5

81.5

71.1

77.7

64

Source: Selected Educational Statistics 1997-98, MHRD; VI All India Educational Survey, NCERT, State Directorates of Education, 1997-98.

Chart 2.2: Net Attendance Ratio (1996)

Note: Estimates made by National Sample Survey Organization, 1996.

On the whole, as against a GER of 90.3 per cent (98.5 per cent Boys and 81.5 per cent Girls) in primary education, the NER comes to only 71.1per cent (Boys: 77.7 per cent and Girls: 64 per cent). Seventeen States/UTs have a lower NER than the country’s average while fifteen states/UTs have a higher NER than the national average. Whatever be the reasons for slow growth and even if computation methods are responsible for certain amount of under-reporting, the enrollment ratios indicate the major challenge that the country faces in bringing all children to school. Seen from another angle, one could say that in 1990s the GERs both for boys and girls at primary stage are getting stabilised. This may have reduced considerably the number of under-age and over-age children in classes I-V. Comparability of NER with net attendance ratios (Chart 2.2) also indicates to the stability being achieved in terms of enrollment and attendance pattern. Two broad issues emerging from the data presented above have to be specially noted:

Recognizing the problems of regional and gender disparities, the central and state governments have initiated several special measures. Following points in this regard need specific mention, though it may take longer to see measurable impact of these strategies and specific measures:

(4) IMPROVING COMPLETION RATES

It is well known that mere provision of access and enrollment of children in the school are not enough for achieving the goal of education for all. These should be coupled with suitable measures to ensure that children stay in the school to complete the full cycle of primary education. Though most states of India have done well in enrolling more and more children in the school, lack of capacity of the schools to retain the children in the school has been a serious problem. Efforts have been made for last several decades to ensure that children do not drop-out from the school after initial enrollment.

Regular information on drop out and retention of children is not collected in all the states. Therefore getting accurate data on the regular participation level of children in the schools and their progress through various classes to completion of the full cycle is not possible to compute as this is also affected by failure rates. This is further complicated, as most of the states follow a principle of automatic promotion in the initial classes of the primary cycle. However, in order to assess the progress made during the last decade, five indicators have been computed, namely, rate of drop-out, (Chart 2.3) rate of repetition, rate of survival from class I through class V, efficiency index in terms of average number of years taken by a learner to complete the initial five year cycle and rate of transition from primary to upper primary stage. One can easily see from the data presented in chart 2.3 a significant decline in the drop-out rates between 1991 and 1999.

Chart 2.3: Drop-out Rates at Primary and Upper Primary Stages

* Provisional

** Estimated (5 percent decrease at I-V and 2 percent decrease at VI-VIII)

Source : Selected Educational Statistics, Department of Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 1995-96, given in Working Group Report, December1996

Chart 2.4: Average Gradewise Repetitioin Rates - National

This is particulary pronounced in case of girls as between 1991 and 1995, it declined from about 48 percent to 38 percent at the primary stage (classes I to V). If the same trend continues, as the estimates indicate, 7 out of 10 girls joining the primary school in 1999 are likely to remain in the system at least for five years. It can also be observed that the difference between boys and girls is getting narrower. The situation however is not quite encouraging with respect to upper primary stage.

School Mapping in Lok Jumbish

The technique of ‘school mapping’ is Lok Jumbish’s special contribution to the task of mobilizing people for education. This begins with LJ workers (or a local NGO) building a rapport with members of the community who are interested in improving education standards in the village. These members called the prerak dal (inspirational group), are given a short training for the task of mapping, which they undertake along with the LJ workers or the NGO. School mapping refers to the exercise of depicting every household in the village visually on a simple map. Small symbols indicate the schooling status of every household member in the 5-14 age group. The whole exercise is an occasion for interacting with the community. When the map is ready, it is possible to see which household needs special help, and to discuss the schooling facilities required in the village. The prerak dal and the local community draw up a set of proposals based on the mapping data .The proposals usually relate to two issues : the need for new schools and non-formal centres and the improvement of the existing ones . These proposals are sent to a block level committee, which is the sanctioning authority.

The school mapping allows the ordinary, even non-literate villager to participate in a field survey and make proposals - a tremendous capacity-building exercise. Prompt follow-up to these proposals further builds up the confidence of the community.

(Source: Public Report on Basic Education in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999)

It may be observed that the repetition rate is very small to the tune of only around 5-8 per cent. This is possibly due to the automatic promotion policy followed in most of the states. Low repetition rates may, however, be leading to lack of attention to learner achievement and in turn affecting the learning levels of the children as well as their motivation to attend regularly. In fact, statewise data computed on this factor show considerable variation among the states in terms of repetition. One can also observe a slight rise in the repetition rate at grade III level as many States conduct external examination from that grade.

Table 2.7: Statewise Rates of Efficiency (1997-98)

 

Promotion Rate

Drop out Rate

Years Input per Graduate

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

Boys

Girls

Total

Andhra Pradesh

72.6

72.8

72.7

27.4

27.2

27.3

7.3

7.9

7.6

Arunachal Pradesh

61.6

61.6

61.6

23.4

23.3

23.4

8.2

8.4

8.3

Assam

63.1

62.5

62.8

23.6

24.7

24.1

5.8

8.2

6.7

Bihar

66.3

64.8

65.4

25.9

26

25.9

8.3

9.8

8.8

Goa

74.1

75.3

74.7

22.5

22.3

22.4

5.1

5.3

5.2

Gujarat

69.1

69.7

69.4

18.8

17.2

18.1

7.4

7.1

7.3

Haryana

70.5

73.5

71.9

22.1

19.1

20.7

6

6.3

6.1

Himachal Pradesh

60.7

67.2

63.8

28.1

22

25.2

6.8

5.6

6.2

Jammu & Kashamir

67.1

65.4

66.4

27

29.2

27.9

6.1

6.4

6.2

Karnataka

78.7

77.9

78.3

20.8

21.5

21.5

6.9

7.6

7.2

Kerala

74.8

75.5

75.2

18.5

19.7

19.1

4.7

4.8

4.7

Madhya Pradesh

72.7

73.7

73.1

19.3

18.1

18.8

5.5

6.2

5.8

Maharashtra

70.9

70.8

70.9

19.6

19.9

19.7

5.9

6.1

6

Manipur

77.5

77

77.3

19.6

20.2

19.9

5.2

5.1

5.1

Meghalaya

60.7

61.3

61

30.6

30.9

30.7

8.9

9.8

9.3

Mizoram

63.2

63.2

63.2

25.9

26.6

26.2

6.2

6.4

6.3

Nagaland

71.4

69.5

70.5

23.4

25.9

24.6

8.4

8.6

8.5

Orissa

63

59.9

61.7

22.8

25.7

24

7.5

8.2

7.8

Punjab

71.1

73.8

72.4

19.3

18.1

18.7

5.4

5.6

5.5

Rajasthan

63.9

61.7

63

32.7

34.8

33.5

6.2

7.5

6.6

Sikkim

50.9

50.6

50.7

25.1

27.5

26.3

8.5

10

9.2

Tamil Nadu

70.6

71.9

71.2

19.3

18

18.7

6.2

6.1

6.2

Tripura

59

59.2

59.1

22

22.1

22.1

7.7

7.4

7.6

Uttar Pradesh

59.5

55.1

57.8

38.8

42.9

40.4

13.4

21.2

15.7

West Bengal

58.6

53.4

56.1

35.8

41.3

38.4

12.2

17.3

14.3

A&N Islands

73.1

73.1

73.1

21.8

22.7

22.2

5.1

5.5

5.3

Chandigarh

84.9

85.9

85.4

13.3

12.8

13.1

3.8

3.8

3.8

D&N Haveli

60.3

59.5

60

12.9

13.9

13.3

6

6.4

6.1

Daman & Diu

72.1

72.1

72.1

15.9

18.1

17

5.4

5.6

5.5

Delhi

80.3

78.2

79.3

14

14.2

14.1

4.5

3.8

4.1

Lakshadweep

65.3

68.3

66.7

17.2

19.1

18.1

6.1

5.4

5.8

Pondicherry

74.3

75.6

74.9

19.6

18.7

19.2

4.6

4.5

4.5

INDIA

67.8

67.3

67.6

25.6

26

25.8

7.2

8

7.5

Source: Selected Educational Statistics 1997-98, MHRD; VI All India Educational Survey, NCERT, State Directorates of Education, 1997-98.

Chart 2.5: Transition Rates (1997-98) - National

The figures for efficiency rates again highlight the variations across states. Some states such as Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal show a very low efficiency level, schools in certain others such as Kerala and Punjab seem to be functioning at higher levels of efficiency. Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal also show a high drop-out rate of 40.4 and 38.4 percent respectively. Interestingly there is not much difference between the drop-out figures or in terms of ‘years input per graduate’ for boys and girls in almost all the states. Exceptions again are Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal which show a fairly large difference between figures for boys and girls. Himachal Pradesh which has recorded a quick progress in recent years show a lower drop-out rate for girls in comparison to boys. This reinforces the well recognized fact that progress in EFA goals demands special focus on girls education.

The transition rates also point out that girls are at a disadvantage. Though the overall figures for drop-out do not show any significant gender difference, one finds a fairly large difference between boys and girls with regard to proportion of children moving from lower primary to upper primary classes.

The figures indicate that the more children are staying in the system for longer number of years. But the situation is still far from satisfactory. Following are some issues that need particular attention:

Tackling the Problem of Drop-out

The problem of dropping out of the school without attending the full cycle of primary education has been fully recognized by the planners and several measures have been initiated in this regard. Achievement made in this regard has to be seen against the fact that the drop-out rate was as high as 60 percent in early eighties. Some of the important measures that are being implemented to address this issue have to be noted.



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