Education Dept trying to retain students of marginal families

Dropout rate 1.03%; overall increase in enrolment post lockdown

Education Dept trying to retain students of marginal families

Entrance to Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mall Road, in Amritsar. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21

The District Education Department is reaching out to students from marginal families, who dropped out of studies post lockdown due to several reasons. The government schools in the district reopened on October 19 post lockdown and officials of the department and teachers are trying to retain students, especially from marginal families, to ensure right to education for every child.

The maximum enrolment till August 28 in government schools of the district for senior classes from Classes VI to XII was 1,11,992 that saw a decline of 1.03 per cent after reopening. “The dropout rate has been marginal but most definitely seen as many students from lower economical background did not come back to schools. We had been expecting such a problem and so we identified the reasons behind the drop-outs. The mass exodus of migrant labour during the lockdown was a major reason of many students not coming back to schools. Also, the lockdown has affected the livelihood of many families and post Covid-19, many children from poor families are now engaged in earning or daily waging to support their families. We had discussed these factors with the Education Secretary as well and we are trying to reach out to such children to increase retention rate,” said Satinderbir Singh, DEO (Secondary).

He also charted out other reasons for school drop-out in higher secondary classes as the maximum decline in student enrolment post lockdown has been seen in Classes XI and XII.

“Some of the students, after completing their higher education, opt for ITI or polytechnic colleges rather than enroll for secondary classes. A section of students shift to open schools to manage work as well as studies. In case of girls, unfortunately, they are married off after completing Class X. Considering so many factors, we have to approach each with a different strategy and we have engaged teachers/headmasters to chalk out programmes to retain student strength,” said Satinderbir. He said dropout was equally reported in rural and urban areas.

While the dropout rate, said the DEO, has been marginal, there has been an overall increase of almost 12 per cent in enrolment in government schools in primary as well as secondary classes post lockdown.

The reason for this could be the fact that several lower middle-class and middle-class families shifted their wards from private schools to government schools due to fee-related issues.

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