Concerned with the massive drop-out rate among school children, the Bihar Education Department is set to introduce a management innovation system to track every child till the undergraduate level, including a whole range of technical and professional courses that a student may pursue after completing the Class 12 state board examinations.
At present, Bihar has about 78,000 schools for Class 1 to Class 12, with a total enrollment of 2.5 crore students.
The Education Department has identified four points where children tend to drop out from school — after Class 5 and Class 8, when a student has to change from primary to secondary and from secondary to higher secondary classes, respectively; as well as after the Class 10 and Class 12 boards.
Education Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express, “We were alarmed at the drop in students’ enrolment from Class 1 till Class 12. As per latest 2018-19 state government data, we enrolled 24,03,526 students in Class 1.
But this number dropped to 15,37,628 in Class 10, a dip of about 9 lakh — a huge dip. At Class 12, this number comes down to 6,31,379 students.”
Kumar said this number further dropped to less than 4 lakh students after Class 12.
“We understand that a good number of students are moving towards professional courses after Class 12. But the drop-out rate after Class 5 and Class 8 is very worrisome. As these drop-outs are taking place during changeover of schools because of distance and other factors, we have now asked all district education officers to map secondary schools for Class 5 pass-outs and high school for Class 8 pass-outs. Now, our system will tell parents which nearest middle and high schools their wards would get admitted to,” Kumar said.
The secretary said the department will soon put up a request for a tender to track every child.
“We are getting data from science and technology (a nodal department for engineering courses), medical, pharmacy, agriculture, nursing and other professional and technical courses. Once we have the management innovation system in place, we can track every child and work out our plans accordingly to minimise drop-outs through counselling and reaching out to parents,” he said.