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47 Million Indian Youth Drop Out by 10th Standard

Silvio Grocchetti & Charlie Moloney,
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India has 47 million youth of secondary and higher secondary school-going age out of school, according to a report by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Global Education Monitoring, a United Nations institute based in Montreal, Canada.


The 47 million young men and women dropped out of school by the 10th standard, according to the 2016 report.


The enrolment in class 10 is 77%, but enrolment in class 11 is only 52%, according to a report from the New Delhi-based Institute for Policy Research Studies (PRS).


Source: Institute for Policy Research Studies, 2016


Enrolment declined by about half between class 11 and 12 and college, said the report, although university enrolment increased, in general, since 2008-09.


The number of boys enrolled in higher education has increased 13% and girls 21% since 2012-13, IndiaSpend reported in July 2016.


An overall increase in gross enrolment ratio (GER is student enrolment as a proportion of the corresponding eligible age group in a given year) at almost every level of education in India confirms that the educational system has become more accessible. Upper primary and secondary schools’ GERs saw a rise of 13% and 17%, respectively, in 2013-14 compared to 2007-08.


Despite this increase, six million children aged 6-13 are estimated to be still out of the school system, according to this 2014 survey by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.


Most children out of school in Uttar Pradesh; Bihar, Rajasthan next


Uttar Pradesh leads the ranking with 1.6 million out-of-school children, followed by Bihar and Rajasthan.


An 18% increase in the population of young people aged 15-24 between 2001 and 2011 has resulted in a comparable increase in the country’s workforce, IndiaSpend reported in June 2014.


As many as 18% of 15- to 24-year-olds in India are unemployed, 5% more than the international average, estimated by the global youth unemployment rate of 2013.


“The newly-launched skill development programme courses require some minimum eligibility to enrol for training. Out of 29 programmes that are part of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (Prime Minister’s Skill Development Scheme), five require individuals who have passed Grade 12 and four require educational levels higher than Grade 12,” IndiaSpend reported in November 2015.


(Grocchetti is a multimedia journalist and has a BA degree from Napier University, Edinburgh. Moloney is a multimedia journalist and has a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Birmingham, UK.)


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  1. Mani Manivannan Reply

    August 23, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    The article is alarming. I am interested in accessing the raw data and more detailed analysis.

    I am, in particular, interested in the reasons why students are dropping out and what can be done to prevent it.

    I am worried that even in the present system that promotes students who are under-prepared for high schools, we are graduating students who don’t have the basic skills one would expect from a high school graduate.

    I am also interested in any follow-up study that shows what becomes of them and how they manage the rest of their lives.

    I am a NRI technocrat and a social activist who works with like-minded people in India, and we are interested in identifying opportunities to help these children.

    I am more interested in statistics related to Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry – that is where nearly all of my contacts are.

    • Dinesh Reply

      September 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      With NEET coming in, it is nearly impossible for government-run school students to get into a medical college. They cannot afford and very likely (rural students) may not have the means to access the high quality entrance coaching classes that private school students get. I

      f you can find physics, chemistry and biology teachers who can equip the government school kids, that would be a great thing for them.

      Students from the southern states can find it hard to crack as the exam would possibly be only in Hindi and English.

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