State records 4.6 per cent school dropout rate

Even as the persentage of out of school children in West Bengal has decreased in the last year, Bengal still remains one of the states with highest number of out of school children.

As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2010, released by Vice-President Hamid Ansari in New Delhi yesterday, 4.6 per cent children - in the age group of 6-14 years - are out of school in Bengal.

The report, which was published by the ASER Centre and facilitated by the non-government organisation, Pratham, states that the national dropout rate recorded in the survey is 3.5 per cent for children in the age group of 6-14 years.

Last year when the same report pointed that the national drop out was four percent, Bengal had recorded a drop out rate of 5.6 per cent.

Bengal remains the fifth state in the country followed by Meghalaya (7.2) per cent, Rajashtan ( 5.8) per cent, Uttar Pradesh 5.2 per cent, and Assam 5 per cent in terms of out of school children.

Bihar, which had higher out of school children than Bengal just a couple of years ago, now has come closer to the national average with only 3.5 per cent children out of school. The report points that Punjab have made remarkable improvement from last year's 5.4 per cent drop out rate to 1.7 this year.

In West Bengal their is also disparity in terms of out of school children in various districts across the state. Districts like Uttar Dinajpur had the highest number of out of school children in the state at 11.4 per cent, while Purulia had 6.8 per cent children outside school, in Malda the per cent was 6.9 and Murshidabad recorded 6.3 per cent drop out rate.

In Bengal the survey was conducted across 600 villages across 17 districts and 20 houses in each district was chosen. However, despite the number of drop outs being considerably high, Bengal is one of the states where maximum children go to government schools. As per the report, only 5.9 per cent children go to private schools in the state.

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