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Updated: October 17, 2013 01:31 IST

Low student retention at elementary school level

Swathi V
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Not a single mandal in the city could achieve the distinction of retaining all the students at a single school till the end of the five-year elementary education, latest figures from the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) reveal. Data of district-wise student retention rates at the elementary level has revealed that the city has zero mandals with 100 per cent student retention. Mahabubnagar is the only other district sharing such a dubious record.

Not a single mandal in the city could achieve the distinction of retaining all the students at a single school till the end of the five-year elementary education, latest figures from the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) reveal.

Data of district-wise student retention rates at the elementary level has revealed that the city has zero mandals with 100 per cent student retention. Mahabubnagar is the only other district sharing such a dubious record.

Retention rates are calculated for five years, and a cent per cent retention indicates that each student admitted in class one at a particular school stays there to complete class five. This is an important indicator in terms of elementary education as it has repercussions on students’ absorption levels. The present study was carried out for the period between 2008 and 2013.

For a city with high percentage of dropouts from its government schools, this might seem normal, but not in comparison with Visakhapatnam which has 15 mandals with cent per cent retention. The coastal city, at 35 per cent, incidentally tops the list in terms of percentage mandals with 100 per cent retention. East Godavari district, at 17, has the highest number of mandals with cent per cent retention at elementary level, followed by West Godavari at 16. Guntur and Krishna districts have 10 mandals each with the distinction. At the State level, for a total of 1,128 mandals, only 114 mandals could achieve the 100 per cent mark.

Interestingly, Ranga Reddy district, with only four mandals with cent per cent retention, tops the chart in Telangana region, with Nizamabad, Medak and Warangal showing only single mandal with the achievement. A total of 615 mandals could not even match up to the State average of 75.32 per cent, with Mahabubnagar trailing at the tail end with 57 such mandals out of 64. The capital has only seven mandals recording retention ratio over and above the State average.

Rajiv Vidya Mission officials attribute the low retention rates in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts to heavy migration of population.

“For children to stay in one school till the finish of elementary schooling, stability of parental livelihoods is important. We have heavy migration into the city, particularly more so in industrialised localities. When there are copious rains, or the onset of festival season, parents leave for their native villages, taking away their kids. Due to this, student strength in most of the schools is high and fluctuating,” an official from the Ranga Reddy district informed.

Officials from Hyderabad concede that many students shift to private schools midway through due to lack of infrastructure and teaching staff in the government schools.

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