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Education status, school dropouts and its reasons, determinants and perspectives among young girls of a city of Western India

Khyati Desai, Mohua Moitra, Vipul Chaudhary, Bhavin Dave.

Abstract
Background: Education status is the major social factor among the young girls that affects health and social status of these girls.

Objectives: This study was conducted to find out the magnitude of the problem of school dropouts, reasons, determinants, and perspectives of the dropping out of school among young girls of Surat city.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study carried out at Anganwadi centers of urban slums of Surat city among the young girls of 15-24 years. Sample size was 653 (total population 30520, anticipated frequency 39.4%, absolute precision 5%, and design effect 1.8). Sampling was done in two stages: In the first stage, 30 slums were selected by probability proportional to size sampling and in the second stage, 22 participants from each slum were selected by consecutive sampling. Data entry and analysis were done using MS Excel 2007 and SPSS 17. 14 key informant interviews of stakeholders were transcribed and translated, and content analysis was done.

Results: Half of the girls (49.5%) could complete only their primary education, 26.2% had completed their secondary education, and only 14.2% of girls had completed up to higher secondary education. Two out of three girls were dropped out from the school. Majority of the girls (74.8%) had already left the school before or at completion of primary schooling. While most common reason of dropping out of the school was financial constraint (29.1%), marital status (Exp(B) = 9.360, confidence interval [CI] = 5.725-15.302, P = 0.000), and earning status of the participants (Exp(B) = 8.631, CI = 5.042-14.774, P = 0.000) were found as the most influential variables on applying backward regression model. On asking further, 55.9% of girls expressed their willingness to join for further study. Desire for further education was found significantly higher among unmarried than married (χ2 = 120.4, P = 0.0001) and among non-earning than earning girls (χ2 = 8.49, P = 0.0017).

Conclusion: Early marriages and financial constraint leading compulsory earning draw the girls out of the school and kills their desire for further education. Hence, new avenues for further education and vocational training should be built up.

Key words: Young Girls; Education; Financial Constraint; Early Marriages



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