They cite a number of reasons, including stricter curricula for upper secondary education, the preference for higher education, and dropouts due to the large gap between boys and girls in grade XII.
“The students struggled to cope with the revised curriculum from Grade IX onwards. Even the best in the Class X exam do not prefer a math-biology group or a science-only group. Therefore, boys prefer polytechnic colleges or ITIs rather than higher secondary schools, ”said Fr. Patric Raymond, General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Graduate Teachers Federation.
In the past four years, college admissions have increased across the country, he said. “The entire curriculum revision focused on preparing students for competitive exams like NEET. Because of the tough curriculum, students think the first group is for those writing NEET or planning to take engineering courses. Some of them have also been employed in the disorganized sectors in recent years, ”he added.
Aruna Rathnam, a former education specialist at Unicef, said the trend has been visible for more than five years. “The girls do better than boys in all pen-and-paper tests, which can be a reason for continuing their education up to upper secondary level. Parents also urge girls more than boys to learn well. If a boy isn’t studying, they send him to work. Only children from middle-class and upper-middle-class families have no way of getting out, ”she said. The state government is also encouraging parents to educate their girls through various programs up to higher secondary education, she added.
K Devarajan, former director of school education, said the state government should follow up on each student from the time he / she attends Class I until they complete college to prevent dropouts or identify other issues. “We need a uniform system in school education to accompany the students,” he said.
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