Dropout of Children from schools in Nepal
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Nepal, a developing country of the south-asian region has bigger problem of children not completing the full cycle of basic education. In other words, large number of children dropout of schools, especially in the primary and secondary level of schooling. Especially, the situation is worse for those of the backward and socially disadvantaged populations and of the rural and the remote areas. Being in this frame, this study focused on the reasons of dropout of children from schools and the possible consequences of being dropped out of the rural and remote parts of Rupandehi District. This study also looked at the daily habits of those children who are dropped out of schools and tries to dig out the possible measures to reduce the problem of dropout. The study followed the notion of the New Social Studies of Childhood which sees children as competent beings and should be studied in their own right and from their own perspectives. The study was based on the qualitative approach of data collection which includes observation, individual interview and focus group interview (discussion) with children as primary informants followed by teachers and head teachers. The field work included 20 children, 10 boys and 10 girls and 6 teachers and head teachers. The data collected were qualitatively analyzed and conclusions were drawn. The study realised that poverty, low household income, child marriage, child work and labour, are the major reasons for dropping out of children from schools. In addition, school related problems such as corporal punishment, poor infrastructural facilities, lack of teaching learning behaviour, failing of exams, direct and indirect cost of schooling were noticeable reasons. The study realized that children had to face both physical and mental consequences of not attending school. Use of alcohol and cigarettes and feelings of exclusion in the society was observed. Most of the children who were dropped out were engaged in some forms of labour or work. Especially, boys worked in agricultural sector and as manual labourers and girls were responsible in fulfilling household chores along with planting crops during farming seasons in order to fulfill the demand of their family. Taking care of livestock and younger siblings were common for some younger children. The study realized that several interventions such as increase in the amount and management of various scholarship programmes, improvement in the physical infrastructures of schools, child friendly teaching activities, and automatic promotion of grades helps to reduce the problem of dropout. In addition, re-introducing the mid-day meal programme at school might be beneficial.