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“Chronic Absenteeism” at Government Schools in Delhi: Officials say it’s easier to bring back younger children

 Saurav Anand 29/10/2022
“Chronic Absenteeism” at Government Schools in Delhi Officials say it’s easier to bring back younger children.

“Chronic Absenteeism” at Government schools in Delhi, officials say its easier to bring back young children as compared to older students.

Due to the significantly lower number of such children registered in Delhi government schools, the number of children under 5 and between 5 and 7 only accounts for a minor portion of this 3.48 lakh in terms of absolute numbers. However, they represent one-fourth of the students in these schools who fall into these age groups.

After a two-year break, a quarter of the students aged 7 and under registered in Delhi government schools have been classified as “chronic absentees” during the current academic year.

4,909 children under the age of five were classified as “chronic absentees” at these schools, accounting for 25% of the students in this age group. There are 21,604 children in the 5-7 age group, which accounts for 26% of the pupils of this age in Delhi government schools.

In the 8–10 age range, the number is a little lower: 28,630 kids, or 17% of students in this age range, were found to be chronically absent. The number soars to 1,35,558 and 1,13,876 respectively in the age groups of 11 to 13 and 14 to 16. Since the majority of Delhi government-run schools begin in class VI, these pupils make up 19% and 16% of all students in these age groups who are enrolled in these schools.

However, the DCPCR has had more success in reaching out to families of younger children in its efforts to make contact with parents of “chronically absent” kids and get them to return to school. They were able to make contact with 34% of chronically missing children younger than 5 years old, 24% of those between 5 and 7 years, 26% of those between 8 and 10 years, 21% of those between 11 and 13 years, 20% of those between 14 and 16 years, and 18% of those older than 17 years.

In addition, a higher percentage of chronically absent kids have “returned to school,” which is defined as having an attendance of at least 33% monitored over the course of 30 working days. Of these kids, 16% in the category of children under 5 returned, while the percentages decreased to 12%, 11%, 9%, 9%, 9%, and 9% in the categories of kids aged 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14-16, and above 16, respectively.

“The percentage of students returning to school progressively drops with the increase in the age of the student. It can be observed that at a younger age, a higher percentage of students’ families are more serious about their children’s education and are more receptive to the government’s nudges regarding sending them to school regularly,” according to  DCPCR chairperson Anurag Kundu.

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