The grim side to the matter relating to school drop-out seems to have sidelined many important points both reflecting the inputs into the schooling pool by the players, including teachers, administrators, litterateurs as well as parents and resulting from their below par functioning, barring exceptions. Placing emphasis on the volatility of the rate of drop-outs year-on-year, officially claimed to be falling steadily and steeply, rather than the actual number in the flock getting added and swelling the mass is the crux of the matter. While the goings on in the government, ostensibly to rein in the unrelenting expansion of the dropout population, invariably all teenagers, are nothing much to write home about, the private sector has its task cut out in grooming the youth into a mass of productive workforce, although far short of the nation’s growing need for human resources armed with skills of the right quality.
In addition to the steady expansion of teenager’s population disenchanted with schooling, the poor return on investment to educate the youth because of the mass taking to callings unrelated to what was learnt over years, has clearly made the planners and economists tongue-tied, leaving the law-makers leaden-footed.
The litmus test for feeling a sense of fulfilment on the part of parents in particular in supporting their offspring through the 15 or so years of learning in schools, colleges and other institutions is unarguably to see their progeny stand on their own feet as it were in life. The scenario in Mysuru, of the growing number of youth getting lured by self-appointed leaders to be engaged in staging noisy road-shows, is typical of the current national scenario, with the rest in society as mute witness with no clue on what to do for arresting societal decline.
The yawning gap between education that the nation’s gen next is being subject to and skills needed in different sectors of the economy was once again raised at a recent conclave at which the participants were informed that 65 % of school-bound children get pepped up for jobs that do not yet exist. While the youth is not enabled to play their role in raising the economic dividend of their schooling, the nation is bearing the load of wasted workforce.