13 girls dropped out after getting married

A recent survey conducted by the Education Department on school dropouts aged between 7 and 14 has revealed that child marriages were continuing unabated in the district.

According to the survey, 1,819 children were out of school in the district. Among them, 1,112 are boys and 707 girls. The highest dropouts are found in Hassan taluk (556).

As many as 13 girls had stopped schooling after getting married. Similarly, 25 girls had given up studies after attaining puberty.

Among those married, nine belonged to the Scheduled Castes, two backward classes and one belonged to a caste under Category 1. Also, 22 others had dropped out for other reasons. A boy below 14 years had also stopped going to school in Belur taluk after getting married.

Roopa Hassan, social activist and writer, said the survey had vindicated what social activists had been stating all these days. “We have repeatedly brought the issue of child marriages to the notice of the district administration. Unless the government and NGOs work together to address this problem, it will continue,” she said. The survey says 34 children, including nine girls, were not studying because they had no access to schools near their locality. Shockingly, many children have given up studies because they had started working.

As many as 146 children, including 46 girls, were out of schools because they have to take care of household works. Twelve children, including four girls, were working in others houses. Besides that, 156 children are engaged in different earnings. Migration is also one among the major reasons for school dropouts. A total of 336 children had discontinued studies after their parents migrated to different places in search of jobs.

As many as 943 children dropped out of studies for reasons unspecified in the survey. H.S. Phaneesh, District Deputy Project Coordinator of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, told The Hindu that the next target of the department was to bring all dropouts back to school.

“Chances of bringing them back to school depends on the reasons for their dropout. In case of married children, it might be difficult to convince them. However, we will make efforts to bring them back to schools,” he said.

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