Survey reveals poverty as the main reason for school dropouts

A recent baseline survey in Patna district’s Fatuha and Bihata blocks, carried out by Ashok Pankaj and Susmita Mitra for the Right to Education Forum and the Council for Social Development, has revealed that a major reason for school dropouts is poverty of the rural households. The survey, which encompassed 9,386 children of 4,205 households in 30 villages, showed that 99.34% households which had dropped out children belonged to either landless or marginal farmers. As many as 58.19% of dropped out children’s household incomes was less than Rs 50,000 per year.
Even as revealing that the education level of the parents of the households having school dropout children was 61.18% among fathers and 88.45% among mothers, the survey found that 66.84% fathers and 33.28% mothers were wage workers. In all, 12.12% children in Bitaha and 8.9% children in Fatuha were out of school, a definition which includes those who are school dropouts as well as those which have never attended school.
Comment Pankaj and Mitra in their report, “The reasons for school dropout is poor economic condition of the households. While some children begin working at home, others begin earning for their households. Many of the parents are unable to spend on education of their chidden. Some children are forced after their younger siblings. A few others leave the school on account of poor quality of schooling.”

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