Published: 14th March 2023
Decline in students attempting matriculation exam in tribal-dominated Odisha district raises concerns
There has been a decline in the number of students taking the BSE matriculation exam in Sundargarh district, with a drop of 2,622 students in 2023-24
Over many years now, there has been a gradual and steady drop in the total number of students taking the matriculation examination of the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha in the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district. While the precise reason is not yet known, the district administration continues to be oblivious to the grim phenomenon, stated a report by The New Indian Express.
Reliable sources informed that this year, for the 2023-24 session, a total of 23,578 students, including 203 ex-regular students, have enrolled for the Summative Assessment (SA) 2 of the matriculation exam of BSE. But, only 22,720 students are appearing for the exam, which kicked off on March 10. A total of 655 students, despite appearing for the SA 1 exam, have missed SA 2 this time. If compared with the 2022-23 academic year, there is a whopping drop of 2,622 students not appearing for the Class X examination of BSE in 2023-24.
In 2022-23, a total of 25,997 students, including 715 ex-regular, had enrolled for the SA 1 exam of BSE, and during the SA 2 test, the number further dropped to 25,118. During 2021-22, when the BSE's matriculation exam was not held due to COVID-19 and all students were declared pass by the Odisha government, 26,833 students had enrolled. Also, in 2021-22, there was a rise in enrolment of 2,206 students compared to the total enrolment of 24,627 in 2020-21, and the School & Mass Education (SME) Department sources opined that the reason for the rise in enrolment during 2021-22 was that the concerned school authorities had enrolled all students at their own due to disruption in classroom studies and matriculation for COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by The New Indian Express.
But, they have no clear idea where these students are going or whether the majority of them discontinued study. Notably, during the 2017-18 academic session, a total of 28,366 Class X students, including 2,046 ex-regular, had enrolled for the Class X exam of the BSE. They said comparing the enrolment of 2017-18 with 2023-24, a whopping number of 4,991 students have vanished from the BSE system. They said while some might have moved to other boards, and some might have stopped pursuing education.
Sundargarh District Education Officer (DEO) AK Pradhan said it is possible that about 1,000 students might have moved to the Odisha Adarsha Vidyalayas (OAVs) in the district offering CBSE courses, while the rest of them have moved to other private English medium schools of CBSE or ICSE. Many others have quit their studies for socio-economic reasons, including family issues. He said there is no effective mechanism to track students going out of government schools, stated The New Indian Express report.