In 2015, over one lakh Class 9 students in Delhi government schools didn’t make it to Class 10, of which 63,000 are estimated to have dropped out
From page 01 In 2014, 355 students were enrolled in Class 9 at Mansarovar Garden’s Sardovadaya Vidyalaya in West Delhi, but only 40 students made it to Class 10.
Since no student repeated the class next year, all 315 are estimated to have dropped out. “Passing Class 9 grade is not an easy task,” said Meena Khurana, principal of the school.
This year, the school had a 30 per cent pass rate in Class 9. The decline in enrolment in Class 10 is also due to the high dropout rate. According to Khurana, most students who pass Class 9 are repeaters.
This pattern gets repeated across the city, presenting policy makers with a dilemma: passing children irrespective of their marks undermines academic achievement; but failing them means many simply drop out of school altogether.
In the batch of 2014-15, for instance, 2.5 lakh students were enrolled in Class 9 in Delhi government schools. Next year’s batch had only 1.4 lakh students enrolled in Class 10. Almost one lakh students did not make the cut. Of these, half decided to repeat Class 9, while the rest completely exited the system.
The scale of the problem has pushed the Delhi government to segregate children in middle school by their academic performance in the hope that children will learn better in such groups.
Using data from U-DISE (District Information System for Education), we estimated the number of students who failed, and those who dropped out in Class 9 for every government school in Delhi, offering a granular insight into this pressing concern.
During the years, for which the data was analysed, only 1 per cent of Delhi government schools had a transition rate of more than 90 per cent between Class 9 and 10.
Most of the schools that had a high transition rate were “Rajkiya Pratibha” schools — government schools for extraordinary students. Not only do you have to pass a test to get into one, there are just 17 of these in the city.
Other schools with high transition rates were mostly centers with small batch sizes. In Bawana’s Government Girls Senior Secondary School (GGSSS) No. 1 for instance, 340 students enrolled in Class 9 in 2015. Next year’s Class 10 saw that number actually increase to 349.
Merely four government schools saw that kind of an increase in enrolments in the city.
Dr Raj Rani Bansal, principal of Bawana’s GGSSS moved to the school six months ago. According to her, even this year, the school has achieved a 100 per cent pass rate in Class 9.
Even if the students do manage to get to Class 10, their subject choices are limited in Class 11. First, they are made to choose out of 887 schools, as the rest don’t have Class 11 and 12. Second, not every school offers the stream of their choice.
Then there is another hurdle — getting to Class 12.
Data analysis shows that 2 lakh students were enrolled in Delhi government schools in Class 11 in 2014.
In the following year, 1.3 lakh enrolled in Class 12. While 27,000 decided to repeat, the rest are again unaccounted for — almost 45,000 students left the state education system during this period.