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India’s rural youth is 10 years behind when it comes to education [Report]

A look at Annual Status of Education Report for 2017 will tell you the massive problem India is sitting on when it comes to education of rural youth.

The rural youth, when it comes to solving basic math problem or answering simple questions is almost 10 years behind their age. 78% of all rural 14-18 year-olds – whether enrolled students or not – do some agricultural work whether for wages or on their own land.

Socio-economic factors at play.

For instance, consider a 15 year old who doesn’t live in a “pukka” home, whose parents

haven’t been to school, who is not a fluent reader and cannot divide. The probability that this youth will drop out is 33%. Affluence in the form of a “pukka” home reduces this probability to 25%; but having educated parents reduces it to 18%.

Apart from socio-economic factors, a large proportion of youth also cited “lack of interest” as a reason for leaving school. About one fourth of the youth said that they had to discontinue their studies because of financial reasons.

In addition, 50% of boys who had left school said the reason for doing so was either lack of interest (34%) or because they had failed in school (16%). For girls these numbers are 19% and 17%, respectively. Among girls, the predominant reason for leaving school was family constraints (32.5%). Interestingly, only about 11% of the girls said that distance to school was a contributing factor.

The correlation between socio-economic characteristics and drop out rates is well established. Youth who have dropped out come from more disadvantaged backgrounds. For instance, 37.2% out of school youth live in pukka homes as compared to 54.1% enrolled youths.

Parents’ education matters.

The difference in the education of their parents is even starker – 70.7% out of school youth have mothers who have never been to school, 46.1% have fathers who have never been to school and 41.8% have both parents with no schooling. The comparable numbers for enrolled youth are 39.2%, 21.8% and 17.3%, respectively. Given these figures, it is surprising that only a fourth of the out of school youth cited financial constraints as the reason for leaving school.

Data: For every 100 elementary schools (Std I to VIII) in rural India, there are just 14 offering secondary grades (Std IX and X), and only 6 offering higher secondary grades (Std XI and XII).


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