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Nearly one-third of the states and Union territories where Right to Education (RTE) has been notified have seen an increase in the dropout rate in primary education despite an overall increase in enrolment two years after the act was implemented. This comes at a time when funds allocation has been doubled. More children have dropped out in 2010-2011 as compared to 2009-2010 in 10 of the 30 states where RTE has been notified.
These include progressive states like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat that have seen an increase in dropout ratio from 0.1% to 1.2% and 3.9% to 4.3% respectively between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. Others that have also slipped from their earlier mark include Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and union territories like Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman & Diu. Incidentally, funds allocation under RTE has doubled from Rs 13,100 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 25,555 crore in 2012-13. The annual average dropout rate for the country has come down from 9.1% to 6.8% while enrolment has increased from Rs 13.34 crore to Rs 13.52 crore for the same period. HRD minister Kapil Sibal said improving quality was critical if the objective of RTE was to be fulfilled and elaborated on a 10-point agenda that states should follow. He noted a decline in dropout rates in states like Bihar where it has come down to about 7%. Jharkhand saw it drop to 5%, Nagaland to about 6% and in Uttar Pradesh it is down to about 5.5%. Sibal said more than 31 states have notified an academic authority as per RTE provisions which will look into the curriculum reforms process. He added that the states should take steps to hasten the appointment of teachers as the Centre has already sanctioned six lakh posts.
Courtesy: Times of India
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