More boys dropped out of school at the secondary level as well as in primary classes (1 to 5), while the number of girls dropping out of school in the upper primary classes (6-8) was higher than that of the boys in 2019-20, according to a Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report.
The report noted that the overall dropout rate at the secondary level in the country is over 17 per cent, while in the upper primary classes (6 to 8) and the primary level it is 1.8 and 1.5 per cent respectively.
The dropout rate for boys in primary classes was 1.7 per cent as against the girls' 1.2 per cent. Similarly, the dropout rate for boys was higher in secondary classes (18.3 per cent) than girls (16.3 per cent).
In upper primary classes, the dropout rate for boys (1.4 per cent) was less than that for girls (2.2 per cent).
According to the report, nearly 30 per cent students in the country do not transition from the secondary to the senior secondary level.
"With more than 15 lakh schools, nearly 97 lakh teachers and over 26.5 crore students from the pre-primary to the higher secondary level, the Indian school education system is one of the largest in the world. There are over 3.8 crore students enrolled at the secondary level, of whom 44.3 per cent are in government schools, a little over 20 per cent are with government-aided schools and nearly 35 per cent are with private-unaided schools," the report said.
The Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE), initiated in 2012-13 by the Ministry of Education by integrating the DISE for elementary education and the SEMIS for secondary education, is one of the largest management information systems on school education, covering more than 15 lakh schools, 85 lakh teachers and 25 crore children.
The UDISE+ is an updated and improved version of the UDISE.
The report revealed that there are 19 states and Union territories where the dropout rate at the secondary level (classes 9 and 10) is higher than the all-India rate (17.3 per cent), with states like Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh having a dropout rate of over 25 per cent. There are four states that recorded a dropout rate of over 30 per cent.
While a majority of the states from the northeastern and eastern regions have a high dropout rate, Delhi too has a dropout rate of over 20 per cent.
Along with Punjab (which has the lowest dropout rate of 1.5 per cent), the states and Union territories with a less than 10 per cent dropout rate are Chandigarh (9.5 per cent), Kerala (eight per cent), Manipur (9.6 per cent), Tamil Nadu (9.6 per cent) and Uttarakhand (9.8 per cent).
Comparatively, these are also the states and Union territories with the highest promotion rate at the secondary level, with Punjab, Manipur and Kerala having a promotion rate of over 90 per cent.
According to the report, the overall dropout rate of girls is two per cent less than that of the boys.
Punjab registered a zero dropout rate for girls, while Assam recorded the highest dropout rate (35.2 per cent) at the secondary level. There are six states and Union territories where the dropout rate for boys is over 30 per cent. For states like Goa, the boys' (21.2 per cent) dropout rate is nearly 10-per cent higher than that of the girls (11.8 per cent).