Young Lives, a UK-based international body engaged in the study of childhood poverty, has found that increasing economic growth in Andhra Pradesh has been enduring inequalities among children.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of launching its report “The impact of growth on childhood poverty in Andhra Pradesh” here on Thursday, country director of Young Lives in India Dr. Renu Singh stated that they were monitoring 2,000 children born in 2001-02 and 1,000 born in 1995-95 in the State along with equal number of children in Ethiopia, Peru and Vietnam for over 15 years as part of their study.
The third round of study carried out between late 2009 and early 2010 had suggested the need for more targeted policies to promote pro-poor growth and to reduce chronic poverty, she said.
Facts and figures
Initial findings of the study included increase in the primary school enrolment to 98 per cent of 8-year-olds and decline in the absolute poverty from 24 pc (2006) to 16 pc (2009) among the Young Lives households.
However, issues around access to pre-school and drop-out rates after primary school remained as only 75 pc children were in school by age of 15. The dropout rate was high among girls and SC, ST children. The study suggested flexible schooling to help children balance the demands of school and work in different geographical areas.
Stating they found considerable shift to private education from public among the study households, Dr. Singh explained those attending private primary schools at the age of 8 had increased to 44 pc in 2009 from 23 pc in 2002. Access to nutritional food and sanitation were also causing concern. Prof. Uma Vennam of Sri Padmavathi Mahila Visva Vidyalayam and Dr. Vijay Kumar associated with the study also spoke.