Dropouts In Secondary And Senior Secondary Education: Understanding The Problem And Discussing Its Solution

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Pooja Chhikara , Kushal Chakravorty


Education is the gateway to a better world; it is an answer to most of the problems. Education is an escape route from the vicious cycle of poverty. But how many children can attain the ability to escape to a better world? Reality could break hearts. In 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation reported that 47 million Children could not finish their higher education and drop out of school after secondary school. These numbers have multiplied during the covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the number is even higher for dropouts after primary or middle school. Due to school dropouts, their entry is blocked from the formal sector, hence forced to join a queue in the low-paying informal sector. Against this background, this paper has attempted to examine the severe issue of school dropouts in India. The problem has been conceptualised by considering existing literature and analysing secondary data on various school boards in India. This paper has also attempted to investigate whether it is the demand-side constraint in terms of lack of demand for higher education or the supply-side constraint in the form of inadequate access to higher education. Taking into account the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, this study has discussed the intervention mechanisms of the non-profit organisation Lotus Petal Foundation to mitigate the problem of school dropouts. The findings indicate that the issue of school dropout is inter-woven, and its factors are interlinked. The situation can positively improve with effective interventions.

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