‘Menstrual issues spurring drop out rate’

Updated - June 12, 2015 05:33 am IST

Published - June 12, 2015 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

One of the major reasons why girls studying in government schools drop out or miss classes is because of issues related to menstruation, suggests a survey conducted by a non-profit organisation.

The survey conducted by STIR education, which took into consideration 500 girls, found out that among other reasons like lack of support from the family and financial issues, the biggest reason why teenage girls do not attend school is because of problems, such as hygiene, related to menstruation.

“When we started conducting surveys, we found that many girls are hesitant to come to school when they are menstruating. This was mostly because they do not have access to clean sanitary napkins and hygienic toilets in the school. Some are even forced by their parents to drop out,” said Sangeeta Pant, one of the surveyors.

“Another problem is that girls cannot talk about the issue with their parents as they are not open to such discussions,” Ms. Pant added.

The Delhi Government, under former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, had started the Kishori Yojna to educate teenage girls about menstrual cycles, to counsel them and provide free sanitary napkins. Ms. Pant, however, said the scheme seems to have been discontinued.

“It is true that many girls drop out because of menstrual problems, which is why we started the Kishori Yojna. Under the scheme, schools would provide free counselling to girls to educate them about menstrual cycles. Schools were also supposed to provide free sanitary napkins and ensure girls have access to clean washrooms,” said former Education Minister Kiran Walia.

Despite repeated attempts, Education Minister Manish Sisodia and senior officials of the Education department could not be reached for comments. Members from STIR education and teachers at government schools are now trying to amend the situation in as many schools as possible.

A survey has found that issues like lack

of hygiene in schools force teenage girls

to skip classes

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