Primary school dropout in haor areas

Steps should be taken to cut dropout rate in remote areas

Published : 08 Aug 2023 08:07 PM | Updated : 08 Aug 2023 08:07 PM

The government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken effective steps to stop dropout of students from primary schools. Therefore, dropout rate has reduced by 14 per cent while 97 per cent of the children, who are of primary school age, got enrolled in primary schools this year.

However, compared to other districts in the country, schools in north, haor and hill regions are still lagging behind. Primary schools in Gaibandha, Thakurgaon, and Nilphamari saw an increase in their drop-out rate, despite enrolment rates being high, says a Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) study recently.

Eve-teasing, high cost for commercialisation of education, poverty, insecurity of female students, child marriage, insincerity of teachers and lack of knowledge of parents about education are the reasons for dropout from school. Besides, the parents, who are mostly illiterate and poor, prefer to engage their children in domestic works of the family instead of sending them to school. Many parents send their children to school but later they are forced to stop attending schools due to poverty.

Haor areas in Sunamganj are also witnessing highest dropout rate at primary education compared to that of in other parts of the country. Education activists, officials and local people blamed the poor communication, poverty and insufficient school infrastructure for this problem. Besides, difficulties in communication and poor school infrastructure cause the increasing dropout rate in the haor areas.

The government will have to conduct 

awareness-building programmes, assist 

poor parents in income generating works 

and recruit adequate teachers to stop dropout

The communication system in the haor and hill areas turns worse every year during the rainy season as strong waves in the haors and hill hamper normal movement making boat journey highly risky for the children. Many children drown every year during the rainy season while going to school. Parents prefer not to send their children to school fearing the high risk involved in their journey.

Textbooks are being distributed free of cost while stipend are being given to the poor children to help them continue studies. Therefore, no children should roam around the streets or engage themselves in work leaving education. The children have the right to go to school and have opportunity of education to build their future. 

The government will have to introduce water bus services for safe movement of students, which will reduce dropout rate at the schools. Besides, the government will have to construct child friendly classrooms, strengthen awareness-building programmes, expand coverage of education stipend, assist poor parents in income generating works and recruit adequate teachers to stop dropout. 

The government should put special emphasis on north, haor and hill regions to stop dropout in order to promote primary education there.