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Citing CAG, budget analyst says, Gujarat govt figures on dropout, enrollment in primary schools are "false"

CAG figures quoted by Jethmalani
By Our Representative
Contradicting Gujarat government claims – as reflected in a Government of India book, “Elementary Education in India”, of June 2014 – that dropout rate of lower primary schools went down from 2.99 per cent in 2010-11 to 0.74 per cent in 2012-13, latest report of India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) suggests that the dropout rate was, actually, 19.48 per cent in 2013. CAG confines itself to analysing enrollment in government schools over the years, even as surveying as many as 300 schools to identify infrastructure reasons behind poor enrollment.
Revealing this, Mahender Jethmalani, who heads Pathey, an independent non-profit budget analysis centre in Ahmedabad, told a seminar organized by a high-profile NGO, Child Rights and You (CRY), “The huge difference between the government data and that of the CAG report should be challenged appropriately.”
Jethmalani, who made a detailed presentation on the wide gap between state data and CAG observations, said, the data collected by CAG suggest as many as 9,76,890 children were enrolled in class one in 2008‐09, but the number of students who reached class five was 7,86,590 in 2012‐13, suggesting a dropout of 1,90,300. This comes to 19.48 per cent, as against the state government claim of just 0.79 per cent dropout.
The figures further suggest that in 2010-11, as many as 758971 children enrolled themselves in class VI, but 6,50,648 remained in class VIII, which means that 1,08,323, or 14.27 per cent children further dropped out.
The data also suggest that there was a progressive decline in the number of children who enrolled themselves every year. Thus, 9,76,890 children were enrolled in class 1 in 2008-09, while the enrollment was 7,68,980 in 2012-13. The figures, in fact, suggest each year there was a progressive decline in enrollment.
Jethmalani said, “The drop in the rate of enrolment in government schools and high dropout rate from these schools could be attributed to in adequate infrastructural facilities and basic amenities and teachers in these schools.” He added, CAG cited reasons like “lack of all weather building schools, classrooms, toilets, drinking water, play grounds, compound walls, teachers etc.”, as the main reason behind the dropout and fall in enrollment.
Source: CAG's report on local bodies of Gujarat in Jethmalani's presentation

According to Jethamalani, CAG’s audit, conducted in 10 district, namely Ahmedabad, Anand, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Kachchh, Kheda, Porbandar, Rajkot and Surrendranagar, suggested that of the 300 schools surveyed, “48 schools did not have their building and 56 school building were dilapidated and 4 out of 10 districts checked 14 schools did not have their own buildings.”
CAG further found that schools without adequate class rooms 3,146 schools (10%) out of total schoos 31545, were functioning without adequate class rooms as on July, 201). In 397 primary schools and 181 upper primary schools only one class room each was available, and in 2,568 upper primary schools only two class rooms per school were available. “The percentage of inadequacy of class rooms in the state ranged from 1% in Surat from 53% Jamnagar”, Jethmalani said.
Then, there were schools without separate toilets for boys and girls. “The CAG audit report noticed that out of the 300 schools it surveyed, 26 schools did not have separate toilets 9%). Then, 45 of schools (15%) visited had un‐usable toilets, in 35 schools, water was not available in the toilet, water connection was not provided.
Further, “17 schools did not have drinking water facility, 105 schools were not provided water purifiers, in 53 schools water purifiers were not working , 175 schools were lacking the safe and drinking water facilities”, Jethmalani said, adding, CAG only corroborates the findings of CRY (click HERE to read).

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