Guwahati: In a reflection of the region’s abysmal state of primary education, three Northeastern states of India — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya — have recorded the highest primary school dropout rates between 2016 and 2017.
This was revealed by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar while replying to a question posed by Karnataka MP B V Naik during the ongoing Lok Sabha session on Monday.
Arunachal Pradesh recorded a 23.25% primary school dropout rate, the highest in the country, followed by Nagaland at 20.95%, and Meghalaya at 17.69%, against a national average of 6.35%. States like Manipur and Mizoram are also not far behind, with 16.79% and 15.36%.
Assam and Tripura, on the other hand, have registered an improved dropout rate of 5.60% and 4.39%, respectively.
In case of upper primary education, the highest dropout rate was recorded in Jharkhand at 19.61%, followed by Nagaland and Meghalaya, recording a dropout percentage of 18.28 and 17.59%, respectively. The dropout rate in other Northeastern states stood at 12.81% in Arunachal, 12.76% in Manipur, 9.88% in Mizoram, 5.34% in Tripura and 2.51% in Assam. However, the national average for upper primary school dropout rate stood at 5.67% in 2016-17.
The Northeast has fared comparatively better in terms of secondary education dropout rates, with 31.28% in Nagaland, 30.67% in Mizoram, 29.93% in Arunachal Pradesh, 29.76% in Tripura, 28.07% in Meghalaya, 27.6% in Assam, and 21.05% in Manipur, against a national average of 22.13%.
The dropout rates in terms of higher secondary education in Northeastern states were well below the national level of 13.09%, with 11.81% in case of Manipur, 11.72% in Assam, 11.21% in Tripura, and 6.42% in Mizoram.
In the statement made by Javadekar, he cited an independent survey’s report which have found reasons including poverty, lack of interest in studies, disabilities or poor health, and domestic servitude as some of the major reasons for high dropout rates.