Sunday, September 20, 2009

School drop-outs rate is very high in Rural India. Why?

School-drop out is a serious problem in Rural India (even in urban areas but just the magnitude). If we try to analyze why is this so, the first reason appears to be the supply issue. Government controls education sector in such a manner that the schools operating margins hit badly. Apart from the license/quota issue there seems to be 3 major issues:

  1. Teaching styles
  2. English
  3. Mathematics

1. Teaching styles: Most of the teachers (and coupled by the parents in home) impose learning processes on child. The teachers/parents themselves are badly taught and so they viciously follow the cycle.

Learning is a joy. The children should feel that it is like a roller-caster ride. To get to that level, children should be taught how to learn. For example, they should be told as many as stories. Exercise to the kids on this would be to tell many more stories to other children. Children must be formed into a group of 5-10 and then teacher must guide each group. This is basically a process of peer review. They can source the new stories from parents, neighborhood, friends, relatives etc. And in fact, children are natural at creating their own stories. Songs and dance are very natural to them and TV, mobiles, competitions, etc can help in this regard.

2. English: Children are exceptionally talented to learn multiple languages at their very early ages. Most children in rural India struggle with the grammar rules and in turn they start to hate the language itself. The trick is to make them learn spoken language first and then to turn to Grammar but not the other way around.

3. Mathematics: Maths is a very critical subject and children are very natural at it. However the astounding ability to learn the subject by the children is eclipsed by the incompetency of the teachers in turn to result that Maths is regarded as the most hated subject by a minimum of 1/3 of the all children. I think children should learn it through games. Classes 1-6 should only consist of a variety of games. All exercises should be again to play at home with other kids at neighborhood areas.


Eswari said...

well said sekhar,
I want to add one more reason too..
In rural areas Most of the parents don’t know the importance of education, so they prefer their children to do some domestic chores or work than going to school.

let it be any subject, primarily its the parents & then the teachers duty to create and support the children education at least in the beginning stages which in turn may help the student to have a good focus on education.

Rahul Jain said...

I always thought dropouts in rural area was because of money. Kids are either pulled put by their parents or they do by choice - just because of the sheer need to make some money. There is lack of support from parents and the persistence that you see in urban middle class parents.

Your post has threw me off completely - do you have any data that proves the point? The points that you bring forward aren't as hard to fix as others.

Smriti Kalra said...

Another reason is a belief that girls should learn to cook at home and get married. There are many schools in rural UP & Rajasthan areas which are only till 8th standard and girls are told to stay at home and further education of girls is discouraged due to lack of money. There should be uniformity in teaching methods and systems in all states of the country.

neeraj singh bohra said...

Article about school dropout in rural areas--

I have spent many years in a rural village where i born and brought up and experienced successive developments and changes with time.but as far as the rural eduction is concerned,that has also undergone through improvisation process,but,that is essentially based on theoretical studies rather practical or grassroots social studies(as i realized).
I have seen three kind of reasons that accelerate the drop-out rate in rural areas-

2:lack of awareness among parents and
3:Lack of real political willingness ans teaching standard and attitude.

First,there are numerous situation like money crisis(though,now basic eduction has become free but money crisis has many other imprecations that can be seen in form of children dropout),family crisis,Health problem,inaccessibility of nearby higher schools (Particularly rural girls become victim of this because in many rural areas they are not allowed to go far from their respective village to attained higher schooling,there are many other conditional reason also persist.some parents have to compromise with situation and they make their children available for work like household help,canteen,shops,tea stall,agriculture,industrial worker, etc only to meet their ends.

Second: In majority of rural areas a major section of population still lacks awareness and importance of education.This ignorant attitude produces unfavorable consequences.Still there are few regions where girls are not allowed to go school.Few gender restriction also exist among different communities as well.

Third:is the most important in all the political willingness and leadership.Since the responsibility of education in rural India rests in our government . Undoubtedly,government endeavors for educating people have been quite good.Despite government efforts the ground realities are entirely different.Education policies are made on the basis of few generalized studies that many time completely lack practical practical approach.And it is completely true the in between the politics,bureaucracy,society,modernization,
our education machinery has become crippled and corrupt.There are so many schemes and policies but that lacks proper implementation and monitoring.Nowadays most of government teachers are reluctant to teach with energy and they have not been able to understand the problem of today's children.Documentation bourbon of teachers has also increased manifolds past few years that also affect the standard of education.The selection process of teachers seems faulty.More and more emphasis should be given to recruit teachers with good teaching capabilities and attitude.what A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM said once
'A student spends 25,000 hours in the campus. The school must have the best of teachers who have the ability to teach, love teaching and build moral qualities'

So these are few reasons that have perhaps been responsible for detachment of the student from the schools.Not a particular reason is responsible rather we all are so solution lies in the our awareness.

Neeraj Singh Bohra

iamyuva said...

totally agree. while i find this very simple and easy thing to do.. not sure why policy maker has trouble understanding this.! or for that matter well established private primary school system..

iamyuva said...

and want to share Teach 4 India

Anonymous said...

we need new type of Green revolution.
Please check this site:

Priya said...

Hi Sekhar
Janyaa (NGO) is created specifically to address this. Our goal is to make learning fun for children in government schools of India so as to reduce drop out rates by creating interest in them to attend school. We started with 4 schools last year and this year we are going with 20 schools. We teach children using games. Our website: We post our progress on our facebook account.

Anand said...

CII-National Summit on Rural Development at Delhi April 12-13. Call 0124-4014060 ext 315 for invites

Anonymous said...

It would be better to involve CSR departments of good organizations for rural & women development in India.

Anonymous said...

Youth should be encouraged to start own set-up or take up job in rural areas.

chinna said...

Hai Sekhar,
It is very sad to say half our nation cannot read and write, We can reduce dropouts in our schools. Through a project we are doing now. Its name is Helping Hands. This is especially for rural poor children. We supported and sponsored the poor child educationally with the help of our group of friends and well hearted donors. We are now working in Westgodavari dist, Akividu mandal. We bear the student expendature through out his secondary school education. Pl Join hands with me.

Parimal Tripathi said...

Vidya Education Project- School Office Management Assistance

A project includes our own high school from the 1st to 10th standards. All the children in the school are provided free education, transportation to and from school, textbooks, notebooks, school supplies, school uniform, and midday meal. After the 10th standard the students are admitted into higher education institutes.

for details

Tanu Mehta said...

Designed for journalists and policy makers, is a resource centre of ideas and information on India's rural distress, livelihoods

Rupali Grover said...

Excellent overview! I liked your way of presentation. And I hoping your best work will

continue in future also. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information with us.

Rural News Updates

Tanu Mehta said...

Excellent overview, it pointed me out something I didn’t realize before. I should encourage for your wonderful work. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

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Pushpendra said...

There was a time when going to school was a good thing like going to temple, now things has changed even a labor try to send his or her children to school because they know where the future opportunity of better life lies. But at same time specifically in rural India the opportunity cost of education matters for them, because when they know that there will be no teacher to teach in school, there is no jobs or opportunity for a secondary school pass out, ultimately he or she will join the same league. At this point we have two option, either education system prove them wrong by providing accessibility affordability and absorption of education so they can get direct benefit of it or we can carry the same model where opportunities lies only after graduation or post graduation which will happen for students who belong to family which can afford it. So where we are at this moment of this three phase of whole education? we have succeeded up to reasonable extent to provide accessibility and affordability but at third phase which is learning we are failing to a great extent. So it implies that enrollments are increasing but retention in not and leading to drop outs.
According to me the radical challenges lie not with the policy maker or implementation part, these are with monitoring part. If we are able to monitor whole operations about availability, proper use of infrastructure and ensuring quality effort by teachers we will be ensuring quality education. We cant rely for such a big operations on govt solely, involvement of civil society member at village level and PRI is most essential. So the answer of increasing drop out is non availability of quality education which can give them better options in future to earn a better livelihood than existing one. And solution is by ensuring quality education.

Chirag said...

Nice write up!
Well many people - parents in India first need to be educated on the importance of education and how education can change the lives of their children and indirectly theirs as well in the near future..

Swati Pathak said...

It's Official: India's growth is jobless

Charu Kumar said...

Here is Annual Status of Education Report in India