JAIPUR: Rajasthan has the third highest percentage of out of school students in the age group of 6-13 years in the country. State has recorded 6.01 lakh out of school students from a total of 1.19 crore students in this age group in the academic session 2013-14, says the latest survey conducted by Indian Market Research Bureau for the HRD ministry titled Out of School (OoS).
State has made a significant improvement in the OoS figures from 12 lakh in 2011-12 to almost half in last academic year. Education experts have attributed the reduction to Right to Education to an extent while they believe that schemes initiated by different agencies have brought this positive change.
Similar progress has been made by many states which has improved the national figures. OoS kids have declined to 60.6 lakh or 2.97% in the 6-14 age group from 81.5 lakh in 2009. In 2005, 1.34 crore children were out of school.
At the gender level, in total 6.01 lakh children, a high proportion of 3.5 lakh female children are out of school as compared to 2.5 lakh male children. The percentage of girls that are not going to school is 7.47% which is quite higher than the 3.44% boys in this category. Of total, 17% of them have never enrolled in any school. Another 2,20,645 students or 36.66% of the out of school students dropped out of schools in a year and 45.42% are those who had enrolled but never attended classes.
The striking part of the survey is that only 3.60% of the total OoS children are physically challenged. It raises pertinent questions on the state and other agencies working for physically challenged children.
The gender parity has seen a different trajectory with 72 lakh being male children and 47 lakh female children adding up for 1.19 crore. It means that for every 100 male children we have 65 female children to which many educationists including government officers disagree.
For the first time, a survey of slum areas was done which reveals that 1.44% or 1.5 lakh of them are out of school. This national average is 2.38%. State is leading among all the BIMARU states. While states such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal witnessed a decline in the OoS children, in 13 states and Union Territories percentage of such children has increased since 2009. These include Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
The objective of the survey was to estimate state-wise and district-wise child population and to provide estimates of number and percentage of children who are out of school by sex, social class, religion, different age groups and for children with special needs. The out of school children are described as those students who were never enrolled or have been absent for more than 45 working days from schools.