Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand have worst retention rate in schools: Education Ministry

Lok Sabha: The education minister also told Parliament that dropout rate in 2019-20 was higher for students from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes

Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand have worst retention rate in schools: Education Ministry Lok Sabha News: Among larger states, Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh had the lowest retention rate at primary level (source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Nov 29, 2021 - 3:45 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Jharkhand have the worst retention rate among higher secondary students in government schools, the education ministry said in response to a question in the Parliament.

At the primary level, the north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram performed the worst in retaining students. Among larger states, Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand had the lowest retention rate at the primary level in government schools.

Also Read| Gross enrolment ratio rises overall but falls at primary level: UDISE+ Report

Retention rate is the percentage of students who have continued to enroll in the government schools in the subsequent year.

The ministry also said that the dropout rate for students in 2019-20 was higher for students from the historically marginalised Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities as compared to others.

Parliament Session: Higher secondary retention

According to the statistics shared by the education ministry, Arunachal Pradesh was the worst performer as it was only able to retain 11.95 percent of higher secondary (Classes 11 and 12) students in government schools.

Among larger states, the following three were worst-performing for retention in higher classes:

The national average for retention rate at the higher secondary level was also low at 40.17%. According to the data, 23 states and union territories out of 36 had a retention rate of less than 50%.

Only Chandigarh (100%), Kerala (100%) and Punjab (91.13%) recorded a retention rate of over 90 percent at the higher secondary level.

Retention rate: Primary level

At the primary level (Classes 1 to 5), the following north-eastern states were the worst-performing in terms of retaining students in lower classes of school:

  • Arunachal Pradesh: 47.24%

  • Meghalaya: 56.09%

  • Mizoram: 62.1%

Among the larger states, the following were the worst performers in terms of retaining students in lower classes of school:

The national average for the retention rate at the primary level was at 86.97%.

Lok Sabha Winter Session: School dropouts

The education ministry also revealed that students from ST and SC communities dropped out at a much higher rate compared to other communities at both the primary and upper primary level.

According to the ministry’s statistics, 5.9 percent of ST students and 3.75 percent of SC students drop out at the upper primary level compared to 2.82 percent among other backward communities (OBC). The dropout rate for the general category was at zero percent overall.

Also Read| Over 33% of SC, ST, OBC students drop out in Class 10: UDISE+ Report

Boys dropped out more compared to girls among the ST category while it was the opposite in the SC category. In the ST category, 6.15 percent boys dropped out and 5.65 percent girls dropped out at the upper primary level in government schools. In the SC category, 3.39 percent boys dropped out as opposed to 4.14 percent girls.

The dropout trends were similarly high for ST and SC communities at the primary level. 3.69 percent of students from ST category dropped out at the primary level in 2019-20. In the SC category, the number of dropouts were at 1.82 percent. 1.3 percent students in the OBC category and 0.5 percent students in the general category also dropped out at the primary level.

More boys dropped out than girls at the primary level in all of the four social categories.


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