The Meghalaya government announced in the state assembly that nearly one lakh students have dropped out from schools over the last four years. There were 17,299 students who dropped out in 2016-17, according to the Education and Literacy Minister Deborah C Marak.
Marak told the assembly that the main cause for this was the families’ economic conditions, domestic sibling care and migration. She added that the number of dropouts per year have decreased since 2013. There were 33,557 dropouts in 2013-14, 31,276 in 2014-15 and 14,957 in 2015-16. This decrease, however, came to a stop in 2016 and the following year increased to 17,299.
The Meghalaya government set up training centres, programmes and initiatives to bring the students back to school, according to Marak. These programmes include efforts to improve the quality of education by training the teachers and introducing flexible timings at training centres for students who cannot attend school in the morning.
The government has also made sure to translate the training modules to local languages to promote a better teaching and learning experience at the primary education levels. They are leaning to make education textbook-free, encourage midday meals and provide teaching and learning methods for free.
The West Khasi Hills district had also noted that 4508 students had dropped out, while there were 1440 dropouts the in Jaintia Hills district and 1041 dropouts in the Ri-bhoi district.
The Meghalaya government is also working to create community awareness about the importance of education for every child’s future. It conducted enrolment drives on world literacy day and children residing in difficult regions were provided transport and escort and escort allowances.