Rise in school dropout rate among girls is alarming, says UNICEF India

Rise in school dropout rate among girls is alarming, says UNICEF India

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The schools of India have almost fully reopened. This reopening of schools in India comes after a massive decrease in the number of cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to school closures or the shift to online mode of education two years ago, a UNICEF India report suggests that the dropout rate among girls has increased.

This dropout rate of female students has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic hit India. Over the past 2 years, schools have reopened, closed and then reopened due to the number of cases in the country. Due to this turmoil, the education of school children in India of all grades has had adverse consequences.

According to a poll conducted by UNICEF on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, it was reported that at least 38% of respondents knew a girl who had dropped out of school. While 33% of respondents said girls who had dropped out of school were engaged in domestic work. 25% of respondents also indicated that girls who had dropped out had married.

“With the current situation, we risk losing a generation of children who may never return to school. The impact on girls is disproportionately worse,” said UNICEF India Representative Yasumasa Kimura.

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According to the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21, the annual dropout rate for secondary education in India stands at 14.6%. In 2021, UNICEF India provided technical support to the government and partners to help 15.5 million children, 50.5% of them girls, in 17 states to continue learning from home.

Several state governments have deployed scholarship funds, programs and more to encourage girls to return to school and sponsor their education to combat rising dropout rates for girls due to of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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