Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Extent and Process of 'Silent Exclusion' in Elementary Education: A Case Study of Madhya Pradesh

Academic journal article Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences

Extent and Process of 'Silent Exclusion' in Elementary Education: A Case Study of Madhya Pradesh

Article excerpt

Dropout is a major stamping block of universalization of elementary education in India. Most of the "Bimaru States" are suffering the problem of dropping out in elementary education since the decades. However government schools are in very worst conditions than the private schools in regard to the phenomenon of school dropping out. Further, the process of dropping out is more serious concern at the present context when children are silently excluded from the school and are at the risk of dropping out, due to certain contributing factors and the processes making this phenomenon acute one. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the phenomenon of 'silent exclusion' in elementary school education in the socio-economic context of Madhya Pradesh.

Introduction

Dropping out of the school at a very early age is a nationwide phenomenon, which is hampering the process of universalising education mainly in rural areas. The magnitude of the problem is very acute in government schools than the private schools across the regions. Along with other educational indicators, the social and spatial differences are well articulated in many of the research studies when one discusses the status of primary and upper primary school education in India. The comprehensive analysis of recent DISE data from 581 districts revealed that a majority of the children in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab survived up to class V. On the other hand, a majority of the children in Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan dropped out before reaching class V (Mehta: 2006; 126-28). However the process of dropping out is more serious concern in the present context when children are silently excluded from the school and are at the risk of dropping out, due to certain contributing factors and the processes making this phenomenon acute one. It is self evident that the children from the low castes and tribes because of their low socio-economic background and passive learning experiences in schools might make them more at the risk of dropping out. Similar situation is also experienced in case of girls from the diverse socio-economic background. Most of the studies indicate that children not interested in studies eventually lead to at the risk of dropping out (NFHS-II: 1998, ASER: 2007). Moreover, poor performance, irregular attendance, grade repetition and overage which are expected to adversely affect the relative chances of children continuation in school. In one study by analysing the 10 schools in context of Madhya Pradesh, Sharma (1999) found that students' attendance was very low in all the selected schools of the study. The findings of the study points out that dropping as low as 11 per cent in one school on the day of the survey. Six to 22 per cent students in all 10 schools and 6-14 per cent in rural schools were present in grade V. The conclusion of the study reveals that a smaller percentage of students' attendance indicates inflated enrolment in grade I and/or students dropping out. Another important study in the context of Madhya Pradesh by Govinda and Varghese (1993) found that children performance in the achievement test of two school subjects at the primary stage was very low. The findings of the study show that after completing five years of schooling 10 per cent children had acquired mastery over Hindi subject and five per cent had over Mathematics in the selected five localities of Madhya Pradesh. Further the results of the study revealed that children socio-economic contexts also influence on the their performance level to a great extent as it was observed that students' performances improved as one moves from backward rural localities to developed urban localities (Govinda and Varghese: 1993; 280). But there are certain processes and factors which work together in such a way to make the children at the risk of dropping out at the primary level and upper primary level and this phenomenon is termed as silent exclusion. …

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