School enrollment numbers in Karnataka have dropped by seven per cent over the last year and student dropout figures have reached three lakh with nearly 48 percent of dropouts being from SC/ST communities, an analysis of government data by the NGO India Governs has revealed.
“The figures from official sources say there is a 6.9 percent dip in enrollment. It is shocking to note that a substantial number of students opt out of the education system by the time they reach class 5,” Veena Ramanna of India Governs said while releasing the NGO’s findings. According to the highest school dropouts are being registered in backward north Karnataka districts like Indi in Bijapur and Yelburga in Koppal.
“The government knows what is happening, unfortunately, they merely focus on quantitative and infrastructural investment in education and do not monitor the implementation or the outcome of programs,” says social technologist and state president of Lok Satta party Ashwin Mahesh.
“Government schools cater to nearly 65 per cent of the students in the state. The preference of parents for private schools is on the increase. Despite the advent of laws such as the Right to Education (RTE) and the huge public expenses incurred on the same education programs are underutilized,” says Ashwin Mahesh.
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