Dropout rates come down at all levels in last three years

Once again, a record sum has been allocated to the School Education Department in the budget presented by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam at the Assembly on Thursday: Rs. 17,731.71 crore this year against last year’s Rs.16, 965.30 crore.

The Minister said that in the period from 2010-11 to 2012-13, the dropout rates at the primary, upper primary and secondary level had reduced. The rate has come down from 0.99 per cent to 0.92 at the primary level, 1.79 per cent to 1.70 per cent at the upper primary level, and 13.27 per cent to 8.33 per cent at the secondary level.

For 2014-15, a total of Rs. 381 crore has been set aside for the special cash incentive scheme, which he said, has incentivised retention at the higher secondary level.

The number of students in class X and XII increased from 8.38 lakh and 7.16 lakh in 2010-11 to 11.4 lakh and 8.4 lakh in 2013-14 respectively, he said.

While Rs. 250 crore has been earmarked under the NABARD scheme to meet infrastructure requirement of schools, the State’s allocation for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, a joint scheme of the Central and State government to achieve universalisation of elementary education stands unchanged at Rs. 700 crore.

The State’s share for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, also joint scheme of the Central and State governments aimed at achieving universalisation of secondary education stood at Rs. 384.90 crore this year against Rs. 366.57 crore in 2013-14.

For schemes such as supply of free textbooks, notebooks, bus passes, uniforms, schools bags and footwear among other freebies, a sum of Rs. 1,631.53 crore has been allocated.

He said that in the coming financial year, 5.5 lakh laptops will be provided to class XII and polytechnic college students at the cost of Rs. 1,100 crore.