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Out-of-school children highest among Muslims in India: Survey
November 09, 2006 12:40 IST
About 13.5 million children in the age group of 6-13 years in the country are out of school, with Muslims being the most affected section of the society, a study by UNESCO has said.
The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2007 released on Wednesday found that the rate of out of school children among Muslims was 10 percent.
The Centre had, last year, commissioned the Social and Rural Research Institute to estimate and classify those children who were out of schools on the basis of gender and social categories.
The report said over 30 percent of rural Muslim children in Bihar were out of school, followed by around 17 percent in Jharkhand, 13 percent in Uttar Pradesh and 11 percent in West Bengal.
Of the 13.5 million children, 7.8 million were between six to ten years old (the official age group for primary school in majority of the states), accounting for 6.1 percent of the age group.
About 32 percent of the out-of-school children were reported to have been enrolled but dropped out later, while 68 percent had never enrolled, the report said.
The figure is 7.8 percent in rural areas against 4.3 percent in urban areas, the report said.
In urban areas, the figures for boys and girls are similar while in rural areas, it is 6.8 percent for boys and 9.1 percent for girls.
Among the various sections, Muslims top the list with 10 percent followed by 9.5 percent for Schedule Tribes, 8.2 percent for Scheduled Castes and 6.9 percent for Other Backward Castes.
Statewise, Bihar has 17 percent (3.2 million) of the children out of school followed by 10.9 percent in Jharkhand, 8.9 percent in Assam, 8.7 percent in West Bengal, 8.6 percent in Madhya Pradesh, 8.2 percent in Uttar Pradesh and 6.9 percent in Rajasthan.
On the other hand, some states in southern parts of the country have virtually achieved universal schooling in this age group.
Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu record the out-of-school rate between 0.5 percent and 2.1 percent.
The report said that Pakistan and India are among four developing countries where largest number of 23 million children are still out of school though the overall number fell sharply due to a large reduction in India.