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ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 92-93

Determinants of Reasons of School Drop-outs Amongst Dwellers of an Urban Slum of Delhi

1 Department of Community Medicine, M.A.M.C, Delhi -110002, India
2 Department of Social Work, Delhi University, Delhi., India

Date of Web Publication7-Aug-2009

Correspondence Address:
A Khokhar
Department of Community Medicine, M.A.M.C, Delhi -110002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.42858

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How to cite this article:
Khokhar A, Garg S, Bharti N. Determinants of Reasons of School Drop-outs Amongst Dwellers of an Urban Slum of Delhi. Indian J Community Med 2005;30:92-3

How to cite this URL:
Khokhar A, Garg S, Bharti N. Determinants of Reasons of School Drop-outs Amongst Dwellers of an Urban Slum of Delhi. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2005 [cited 2021 May 7];30:92-3. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2005/30/3/92/42858

   Introduction Top

To the individual, education means expansion of cultural horizons and employment opportunities. To the nations, it means enhanced prospect of social and economic development. Education is a major factor influencing health (especially female education). The world map of illiteracy coincides with map of poverty, malnutrition, ill-health, and high child mortality rates [1] . It also leads to better utilization of health care and greater community and political participation. The Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, stated that everyone has a right to education. Yet, even today, this right is being denied to millions of children.

India spends 1.8% of the national budget on its children, who form nearly 25% of its population. This explains why we are a country of 330 million illiterates, why 50 to 60% of children do not go beyond their primary schooling and why more than 50 millions become drop-outs [2] . The ability to calculate the student drop-out rate should be a key to educate planners but this is one key which does not seem to be in the hands of UT Education Department. While the precise drop out rate cannot be calculated it is safe to bet that percentage who don't make it to school is high [3] . By another estimate out of 1.93 crore children aged 6-14 years, 1.61 lakh consititute going to school till standard VIII while the remaining 32 lakh did not attend school [4] .

Since the benefits that accrue to a country by having a literate population are multidimensional it becomes imperative to study the determinates of school drop-outs. The present paper attempts the same in an urban slum of Delhi as surveys indicate that majority of the drop-outs belong to poorest and least developed area of the country especially backward rural areas and urban slums [5] .

   Material and Methods Top

The present study was conducted amongst the dwellers of all the 100 households of a slum located at Dhobi Ghat, behind Rouse Avenue Road, Delhi during Aug-Dec 2000. The slum consisted of population that originated from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan. This area has three Government schools in close vicinity.

School drop-outs were defined as "those subjects who had not attended the school during the past one year or more." A prestructured pretested questionnaire was used to collect information regarding the socio-demographic factors, literacy profile, reasons for school drop-out, and desire to educate the children.

   Results Top

A total of 638 subjects more than five years of age staying in 100 house holds were interviewed. Males constituted 346 (54.23%) and females 292 (45.76%) of the total. 99% households were Hindus and 75% belonged to nuclear families. and 57.99% of the subjects were gainfully employed. Out of a total of 100 households, 76% had been staying in the study area for more than 20 years, 17% for 10 to 19 years, 4% for 5 to 9 years, 2% for 2 to 4 years and 1% for less than 1 year. Majority of the population originated from Uttar Pradesh 410 (64.26%) followed by Bihar 123 (19.27%), Madhya Pradesh 83 (13%), Orissa 18 (2.82%) and Rajasthan 4 (0.62%).

As high as 282 (44.2%) of the total subjects were illiterate and 279 (43.73%) had dropped out of school. Out of a total of 151 children in the age group of 5-14 years 74 (49%) had dropped out of school. A higher proportion of girls 42/70 (60%) had dropped out as compared to boys 32/81 (39.50%) and the difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). None of the females in the age group of more than 14 years had studied beyond middle school. Overall, out of a total of 279 school drop-outs, maximum of 106/279 (37.9%) had dropped out after finising primary school. None of the subjects who were more than 14 years of age had studied beyond high school.

Literacy rate of subjects who originated from Madhya Pradesh was highest 52/83 (62.65%) followed by Orissa 11/18 (61.11%), Uttar Pradesh 239/410 (58.29%) and Bihar 54/123 (43.90%). All the 4 subjects from Rajasthan were illiterate. A significantly higher proportion of females from Uttar Pradesh 124/189 (65.60%) were literate as compared to males 115/ 221 (52.03%) p<0.05.

Parents wish to discontinue the child's education was cited as the most important reason (29.03%) for school drop-out. In both the age groups a statistically significant (p<0.05) higher proportion of females 60/140 (42.85) were pulled out of schools by their parent's as compared to males 21/139 (15.10%). This was mainly done so that girls could look after their siblings 32/60 (53.33%). It was the perception of the parents that too much of education could lead to problems at the time of marriage in 20/60 (33.33%) of the instances, also completion of education was not thought to be essential by some 8/60 (13.33%). Reasons given by males for being pulled out of school were to help the head of the house hold with the family occupation 12/21 (57.14%) and perception that education would not be helpful in future 9/21 (42.85%). Dis-interest in studies was cited as the reason of utmost importance by males 47/139 (33.8%) as against 26/140 (18.5%) in females and the difference is statistically significant (p<0.05).

Majority (81%) head of the households had expressed the desire to educate their children, mainly (72%) to find a good job. 90% of those who didn't desire to educate their children mentioned financial constraint to be the reason.

   Discussion Top

In this study literacy rate of the study population was 55.57%, which is comparable with the national figure of 55.2%. Lower proportion of males (54.33%) were found to be literate as compared to national figure of 64.1% and higher proportion of females were literate (57.53%) as compared to national figure of 39.3% [6] . Literacy rate of subjects from UP (58.29%), Bihar (43.90%), MP (62.65%) and Orissa (61.11%) was higher than literacy rate of their respective states of original i.e. UP 41.6%, Bihar 38.5%, MP 44.2% and Orissa 49.10% [6] . But literacy rate of Delhi is higher (75.3%) as compared to this area (55.77%). The explanation for which lies in the fact that the study population is of rural origin and residing in a slum. They belong to lower socio-economic group and for them meeting the basic necessities of life are of more importance as compared to schooling. Significantly higher proportion of females from UP were literate as compared to males and this again points to the fact that males are burdened with the responsibility of earning and supporting the family and hence education does not receive its due share of importance.

Higher propostions of girls were pulled out of school as compared to boys to take care of the daily chores and their sibilings. Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti attributes 18% of the total drop-out amongst girls to this reason. [2],[4] Another important reason which emerged was that parent's thought that too much education for girls would make it difficult for them to get married. Kanhere in her work on woman & socialization also encountered similar results. [7]

Since this slum mainly consits of migrants from states of UP, Bihar and MP and those are the areas with low mean age at marriage for girls it reflects it's influence in results of this study also as a higher proportion of girls were pulled out of school to get married at an early age.

Dis-interest in studies was mentioned by 26.16% of the subjects as the reason for having dropped out of school. Other have also reported the children cannot be blamed for not being in the school as their perception is ignored to the extent that they don't feel involved in whatever they are taught [2] . Bharat Gyan Samiti attributes 62% of the drop-out rate in standard X becasue of lacklustre teaching. [4] Government teachers treat their jobs as secondary as they are forced by district level officers to report for all kinds of emergency duties round the year. [8]

Financial constraints accounted for 22.22% of the drop-outs. As the slum dwellers live under adverse conditions, financial security is always welcomed even if it is at the stake of education. The fact that 9.67% of the subjects gave up school as soon as they found a good job also supports the above finding.

Illiteracy of the parents also results in general apathy towards education. The fact that only 6 of the study subjects had studied till high school shows that very few slum children have parent's who can coach them and as soon as paid work is available they drop out of school and remain semi-literate thereafter. In this study a statistically significant association has been found between literacy status of the parent's and the desire to educate their children.

There is a great need for meaningful, multipronged mass action for literacy drive. Since literacy status of parent's influences that of children planning for education must be made keeping three generations in mind. Children who are taught must be inspired and motivated to teach their parent's and also children thereby ensuring education a permanent place in their life. Vocational training in skills for income generation and continuing education should especially be strengthened keeping the urban population in mind. Efforts towards awareness of gender justice and women empowerment are to be stressed upon as women motivate the society for girls to be married at an older age, they work for spacing between child birth leading to a healthier mother and child and also population control.

   References Top

1.Wingard, D.L. Am. J. Epid, 1982 116 (1): 765.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Arun S. Why India has 50 million school drop-outs. The Times of India, 2000, 15th Dec.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Anupreet S. Education Department clueless on Drop-out rate, Indian Express, 1999, 30th July.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Express News Service. 32 lakh kids don't go to school, Indian Express, 1998, 15th May.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Begum Bikees I.L. Literacy, Continuing Education and the Library Movement. Papers from the 2nd Asia Reg. Lit Forum 1998.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.WHO Health Situation in the South-East Asia Region. 1994-1997, Regional office for SEAR, New Delhi, 1999.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Kanhere. S.U. Women & Socialization, Mittal Publication, Delhi, 1987.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.H.R.D. Report School Drop-out Rate continues to be alarming: HRD report, The Hindustan Times, N.Delhi, 1999, 3rd May.  Back to cited text no. 8    

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