This includes those who never enrolled and those who dropped out

As many as 1,70,525 children in the State between the age of seven and 14 are out-of-school, reveals the survey carried out by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

This includes children who never enrolled and those who have dropped out of school. The data, which has been compiled after school and household surveys, has been further tracked at the block, cluster and the district levels. Of the 1,70,525 lakh children, 83,820 are girls.

The educational district that has the highest number of out-of-school children is Bangalore (South) is 18,393, followed by Gulbarga (15,468) and Raichur (12,128). The district with the lowest number of such children is Uttara Kannada with 686, followed by Udupi (1,008) and Sirsi (1,066). Five districts, Yadgir, Raichur, Gulbarga, Koppal and Bellary, have 56,898 such children.

The average dropout rate, which is calculated against enrolment in 2012-2013, is 2.3 per cent. The highest dropout rate is 6.32 per cent in Yadgir, while the lowest is 0.66 per cent in Dakshina Kannada.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan had taken up the survey in November after the High Court of Karnataka took up a suo motu case. While the activists claimed that the number of such children was 6.28 lakh, the Education Department figures for the last academic year revealed put it at 51,994.

Responding to the findings of the survey, Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin said, “The figures have revealed that there are more number of dropouts compared to the department’s earlier figure as the survey was more comprehensive with some parameters being changed,” he said.

Sources, who attended a high-level inter-department coordination committee meeting on Tuesday to discuss the proceedings in the High Court, said that the department officials were asked to verify the figures once again as some members said that an NGO survey had claimed that the dropout rates in districts such as Yadgir and Gulbarga were much higher than the figures produced by the department. The officials of the Education Department were also urged to formulate an action plan to focus on preventive techniques rather than curative techniques to reduce dropout rates.

The survey findings will be presented to the High Court on Wednesday.