New Delhi: The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Union government’s most ambitious project on elementary education, seems to be withering due to high dropout rate in the primary schools in the bigger states like Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

The SSA is the Centre’s flagship programme for achievement of Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE) in a time bound manner, as mandated by 86th amendment to the Constitution of India making free and compulsory education to the children of 6-14 years age group a Fundamental Right.

However, the 2009 record shows that dropout rate from Class I to V is 24.93 percent. The figures available in the Selected Educational Statistics show that the 35 percent children leave the primary schools in UP, while dropout rate is 37 percent at primary level in Bihar.

The 39 percent children fail to complete elementary education in Rajasthan, while WB has 34 percent dropout.

It is worth mentioning that the Centre has increased the budgetary allocation for the SSA by 40 percent to Rs 21,000 crore during the current fiscal when compared to the same period of the previous year.

In addition, the Government is running Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme in the schools for increasing enrolment and attendance. The Union Budget outlay for the SSA has also been increased to Rs 10,380 crore in the current financial year.

JPN/Bureau