"We are bringing a bill to have examinations for classes 5 and 8 and I hope you will give your support to this bill," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told members in the Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.
He said the proposed bill will have scope for giving a repeat chance to all students who fail in March. They will be allowed to take the test again in May.
The Minister, however, clarified that the central law, once brought, will not be made compulsory to the states and it will be left to the states whether they wanted to hold such examination for students of class 5 and 8, even though 24 states already want the test.
In reply to a question, he admitted that the dropout rate in government schools was almost double than that in the private schools.
"Yes, the truth is that there is a fall in the levels of government schools and the people have started getting attracted towards private schools," he said.
In his written reply to the question, he said, "the dropout rate of students is higher in government than in private schools. The dropout rate is nearly half of private schools in comparison to the government schools."
Javadekar also said that there was no separate study to find out the reason for higher dropout rate in government schools as compared to private schools.
He said the real problem was in class 9 as currently, no examination is held in classes 1 to 8 and no child fails.
He said three to four years ago, the enrolment in government schools was declining by 4 per cent while that of private schools was rising by 8 per cent.
"Both issues are a matter of concern and it is important to improve the standard of education in government schools and a number of steps are being taken in this regard," he said.
Javadekar cited many states like Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh where efforts have been made to help check dropouts by making education informative and entertaining.
Asked whether there was a proposal to hand over government schools to the private sector to help improve their standards in education, the Minister replied in the negative.
"There is no proposal of handing over government schools to private players," he said.
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