Nearly 23 per cent of children between the ages of 15 and 11 years in the urban Delhi-NCR region are dropouts while 5 per cent of the same age group has never been enrolled in any school, according to a report by a leading NGO. The total number of children in the state in the age group of 15-18 years was 13,56,031 in the Delhi-NCR region, according to the report by the Child Rights and You (CRY) quoting data from 2011 census.
About 24 per cent of children in the rural Delhi-NCR region in the age group of 15-18 years has dropped out of school while 5 per cent of the same age group has never been to any school. The report that was launched today showed that just 19.7 per cent of schools in Delhi NCR region provides complete school education and 35.8 per cent of the schools are offering secondary education.
“About 1,338 posts of teachers lie vacant out of 15,110 seats in the Delhi-NCR region,” the report said. About 40.47 per cent children in the same age group in urban India and 28.87 per cent in rural India have dropped out of educational institutions, it said. There are 100 million children in this age group in the country.
The report said that more dropping out rates are observed in this age group because the children are allowed to work under the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act that allows 15-18-year-olds to work in ‘non-hazardous’ occupations.
About 23 million children between 15-18 years of age in India are working, of whom 19 million have dropped out of school. The report also recommended an amendment in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education and said that schemes should not be treated as a substitute for extending free education up to higher secondary levels.
It said the inability to continue schooling can also be because of early marriage and motherhood. The child activists said the children in this age group face more difficulties as they are treated neither child and nor adults.
“There is a need to create a motivational structure in schools to deal with the dropping out of children in schools,” said Priya Nanda, a country lead of Equity and Social Change at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Stuti Kacker said that children in the age group of 15-18 years need to be involved in the process of policy making to know more about their needs and requirements.
Neha Buch, an activist, said the society needs to treat children in this age group as heterogeneous keeping in mind that they are different from each other.