At least 48 of every 100 students in India pursuing secondary education never go beyond that level, the World Bank said on Tuesday, pointing out that the country was doing worse than Vietnam and Bangladesh in enrolling students in secondary education. 'Thirty seven percent students fail before the final examination and 11 % drop out during the period (class 9-12),' said the study released by World Bank. It said with 'larger numbers of India's children now finishing primary school, the demand for secondary schooling – Grades 9 to 12 – is growing. Over the next decade, the number of secondary school students is expected to increase from 40 to 60 million'.
The challenge now for the government is to dramatically improve access, enrolment and quality in secondary education, simultaneously. The bank said that in India, the maximum job growth in recent years has taken place in the skilled services and manufacturing sectors. The country, therefore, needs to provide the 12 million young people who join the labour force every year with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences to enable them to access these better-paying jobs. The World Bank said that India, however, does not compare favourably with its global competitors in terms of the overall educational attainments of its people. It said 40 million children were enrolled in secondary schools in 2008. The majority of them were boys, children from the urban areas, and those who belonged to the wealthier segments of the population. Enrolment varies greatly between states, from 92 % in Kerala, 44 % in Tamil Nadu, 22 % in Bihar to four percent in Jharkhand.