Union Minister’s Statement on Drop-Out Rates in Odisha is Misleading: Sudam Marndi

Union Minister’s Statement on Drop-Out   Rates in Odisha is Misleading: Sudam Marndi

Bhubaneswar: The written response of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship of Government of India to queries from M.P., DMK, Kalanidhi Veerswamy regarding school dropout has created confusion in Mass-Media. However, this written response has caused confusion in the mass media. In light of this, Shri Sudam Marndi, the Minister of School & Mass Education in Odisha, expressed the deep concerns of the State Government. The Union Minister’s response was based on facts and figures from the UDISE+ database for the Academic Year 2021-22.

Referring to the D.O. No.23-7/2002-State dated March 23, 2023, from the Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Education, Department of School Education & LR, Minister Shri Marndi highlighted that the present UDISE+ data is insufficient for calculating the drop-out rate. Many schools, institutions, organizations, and students enrolled in various programs like I.T.I.s and correspondence courses under the State Government’s purview are not covered in the UDISE+ database. Taking into account the 1.4 lakh students enrolled in institutions other than traditional +2 courses would significantly reduce the drop-out rate in Odisha.

It’s worth noting that due to the emphasis on education by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, the drop-out rate has already decreased by approximately 20% in the Academic Year 2022-23, according to UDISE+ data. This rate could further decrease if the 1.4 lakh students in different institutions are considered.

Minister Sri Marndi has made repeated submissions through SPD, OSEPA, emphasizing the need to include these students in the assessment. Additionally, it was mentioned that the UDISE+ database for the Academic Year 2022-23 has been submitted to the Government of India months ago.

The Union Minister has been urged to release the UDISE+ data for the Academic Year 2022-23 promptly. Furthermore, the enrollment of students in institutions not covered by UDISE+, such as I.T.I.s, should be integrated into the available data for a more comprehensive assessment of drop-out rates and the progress of the State in education.