Shoeb Khan,TNN | Jun 19, 2014  

Girls 'missing' from higher classes in Rajasthan



JAIPUR: Girls are fast "disappearing" from higher classes in government schools in Rajasthan. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) of the state stands at an appalling 0.63 against a national average of 0.87. The ratio is among the worst in the country with states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala leading at 115 and 109 respectively.

Gender parity is a measure of access to education of girls for every 100 boys. In Rajasthan, the figure stands at 63 girls for every 100 boys in grades XI and XII in government schools.

In other grades too, the GPI is equally poor. In primary schools, against the national average of 94, Rajasthan has clocked 88. Bihar and Assam stand at the top at 0.99. According to reports prepared by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi, parents prefer to send their daughters to nearby government schools up to the primary level. The increase in untoward incidents against women is probably "forcing" parents to keep their daughters away from secondary and senior secondary schools at far off places. The absence of toilets is also a major concern and reason for the increase in dropout count, the report further says. The dropout of girls in the age group of 11 to 14 years jumped from 11.2% in 2012 to 12.1% in 2013, %double of all India figure of 6% in 2012 and 5.5% in 2013, says the annual status education report.

The case studies carried out by NGO Pratham which facilitated the survey, said the ideal model of girl education are Kasturba Gandhi girls' schools which have almost negligible dropouts. "Similar mechanism has to be developed to increase the number of girls' enrollments and to curb dropouts," said K B Kothari, managing trustee of Pratham.