The government has to intervene without delay to address the issue of increasing dropout rate at the higher secondary level among students belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities, according to social activists.
SC/ST students continue to fail in Plus Two exams, and serious interventions are required at various levels to plug the gaps, they said.
“As per reports, 753 students belonging to the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe communities in Wayanad had failed to clear the Plus Two exams in 2022, while the corresponding figures in 2021 and 2020 were 951 and 905 respectively. Only a section of students were able to clear the Save a Year examination,” said M. Geethanandan, activist.
Maintaining that the pandemic had affected education, especially due to difficulties in accessing online classes, Mr. Geethanandan said the departments of Education and SC/ST Welfare had to step up efforts to ensure that students who failed in the previous attempts appear for compartmental exams. “Such initiatives are required to help students continue their education,” he said.
Mary Lydia, State co-ordinator of Adishakthi Summer School, involved in addressing the educational needs of students belonging to backward communities, suggested improvements in training given to SC/ST students. “The existing mechanism is not sufficient. Taluk-level camps have to be held for the welfare of those appearing for compartmental exams,” she said.
The activists suggested appointing mentors for SC/ST students to check dropout rate and curtail the use of scribes to show a rise in pass percentage among students from backward communities.