Goa: A State of Nature, Tourists, and High School Dropouts
Goa is the smallest state by area in India, however, this doesn’t prevent it from being the one of the wealthiest. With its beaches, flora and fauna, and unique history, both international and domestic tourists visit the beautiful state every year. Because of this, Goa has a GDP per capita that is more than two times that of India itself. With all this money coming in, the state has made several efforts to improve education. To some degree these efforts have worked. The literacy rate (87%) is astonishing, but studies show that there is a high school dropout rate of 28%.
Planning Commission data shows that states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have lower dropout rates. The question is: “Why does the state with better facilities and a more sophisticated education system have higher dropout rates?” Well, the answer is simple. The increasing number of tourists and migrants in Goa encourages students to leave school and pursue jobs in tourist-infested areas. Prabhakar Timble says,
“…Around 10% leave mostly to work as drivers and in Goa’s tourism sector in the lower rungs. These are students who leave voluntarily.”
The other 18% of students leave involuntarily, often to help their families financial situations. Most of the students who leave are in grades 9 and 10. It is these involuntary dropouts that can be impacted by social educational reforms.
Timble claims that re-strucuring the education system in higher grades to focus more on job-oriented skills will fix this issue. Doing so will encourage students to pursue a career in certain fields, rather than leaving them wondering about what to do with their future. Not all children are cut out for a general syllabus in school. Encouraging a higher education is always helpful. Getting involved with organizations like Asha for Education and Pratham support education for underprivileged students in India. These organizations help students in most states, including Goa. If you can’t donate, at least spread the word, and share this article. Providing children with an education is key![Image Attribute: Samuel Kimlicka via Flickr]