ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Aligarh-Paying the Price

at all to what the Group has to say on the question of drop-outs and the discrepancy between (enrolment figures and the actual attendance in schools. Equally significant are the Ministry's proposals to cope with the problem of drop-outs. These consist of, to quote from the Ministry annual report. "upgraded school system at the primary stage, policy of 'no detention' till class VIII . .. introduction of play-way methods in classes I-II with adoption of dynamic teaching, teacher improvement and, above all, reform of primary curriculum There is no recognition at all that the problem of low enrolment and high drop-outs has most of all to do with the poverty and the occupational pattern of the people. If at all the government con- siders any section of people as requiring special attention, it is only the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes who, according to the Ministry, "constitute the hard core of the non-enrolled children''. While there can be no doubt that scheduled castes and tribes constitute a specially deprived section of the population in regard to education, as in every other respect, the figures of non-enrolment and drop-outs are so large that they cannot be adequately accounted for by reference only to scheduled castes and tribes, who after all together constitute only 22 per cent of the country\s total population. It is the poor, including even the relatively poor, especially in the rural areas, who constitute, to borrow the Ministry's phrase, the "bard core" of the problem. It is sheer deception to pretend that technical 'educational' solutions, of the type listed hi the Education Ministry's report, are the answer, to the problem of low enrolment and high drop-outs among the children of, for instance, agricultural labour families whose numbers have been rising so rapidly both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the total rural population.

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