Dropout fear mounts

December 29, 2010

Despite witnessing a good result in this year’s primary education terminal examinations, a significant number of students out of over four lakh may drop out from the primary education level, posing a threat in attaining the goal of ensuring cent percent enrolment by 2011.
A total of 2.81 lakh students out of some 24.88 lakh registered did not turn up for this year’s examinations and another 1.48 lakh did not succeed.
The number of absentees is 1.27 lakh higher compared to last year. However, the number of unsuccessful students is lesser compared to last year’s 2.3 lakh.
Around 1.54 lakh students did not take the examinations last year when it was introduced for the first time.
Education officials feared drop out of a large number of this year’s absentees and unsuccessful students, saying majority of these students belong to poor families. They (families) would not allow the students to sit for the examinations again due to financial constraints.
According to Bangladesh Primary Education Annual Sector Performance Report, 2009, the repetition rates in primary level were found to be in the range of 2.5 to 2.7 at all grades, expects for grade I.
“The students who did not take the examination or failed are mostly from rural areas. It is found in most cases that these students feel disinterested to come back to schools as they get involved in different jobs to support their families,” said an official of Directorate of Primary Education (DPE).
The DPE, however, does not have any data of how many students, who refrained from taking exams or failed last year, appeared in this year’s examinations.
No student from 2,787 schools passed this year. Of the total, the number is high in Ananda schools run by Reaching Out of School project of the government.
These schools have become a major concern from the government as a large number of students from these schools failed last year.
Education experts said the guardians of the unsuccessful and absent students should be motivated for the continuation of their children’s education.
Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), told The Daily Star that it should be studied where the unsuccessful students go. “Do they repeat their enrolment with schools or simply leave studying,” she questioned.
“School managing committee needs to play an important role to check dropouts. The committee would keep information about the failed students and encourage them and their families to continue studying.
“The main thing we need to find out is the cause behind the failure of the students,” she added.


Courtesy of The Daily Star

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