West Bengal ranks first in decreasing the dropout rate among students during 2018-2020, the ruling Trinamool Congress said in a statement citing a national survey.
According to the Annual Report on the State of Education (ASER) 2020, the dropout rate in the state decreased from 3.3% to 1.5%, while it increased from 4% to 5.5% nationally, according to the statement.
The desertion rate in some larger states such as Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan was 11.3 percent, 14 percent and 14.9 percent respectively, said the statement citing the survey conducted among 52,227 families from 16,974 villages in 584 districts of 26 states.
According to the survey, West Bengal also ranks first in the country in terms of textbooks provided to students with 99.7 percent coverage, while in larger states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh , Maharashtra, the same is at 79.6 percent, 60.4 percent, 95 percent, 34.6 percent and 80.8 percent respectively, the statement said citing the report.
“West Bengals initiative to continue education during the COVID-19 pandemic through digital and other electronic means has also been recognized in the report,” he said.
Curriculum Committee Chair Aveek Majumder told PTI that the significant drop in the dropout rate was made possible by the state’s ongoing efforts to ensure that not a single child, including girls, dropped out of school for reasons financial.
“We have been following a policy that all children in state and state supported schools receive textbooks according to the curriculum decided by the curriculum committee. This has been going on for the past few years. The high percentage is a reflection of that policy, ”he said.
During the pandemic, the school education department ensured that students were tutored to the best of their ability while institutions were closed, Majumder said.
“From tutorials on television channels to online classes, all possible alternatives were adopted in the current situation. At the madrasas, parents received study materials during the noon meal distribution on certain dates and guardians returned homework on designated dates later, ”he said.
When asked if classes can be resumed on television channels without definitive information on the school’s reopening, Majumder said, “We will follow the state’s recommendations and decide accordingly.”
The ASER report is an initiative of the Pratham Education Foundation that conducts a nationwide survey each year.
Pratham is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the country working to provide quality education to underprivileged children.