22% Students In J&K Have Never Attended School: Report

Srinagar- As the fifth and latest round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) flagging doubts and questions about various sectors, J&K’s education sector is the latest casualty as 22 percent people in Jammu and Kashmir have never attended school, besides the 11 percent population who have attended school for just five years.

Several of J&K’s nutritional indicators have worsened since the fourth round of the NFHS, which was held in 2015-16. But the erstwhile state has hit a major demographic milestone when the percentage of people in J&K without schooling was found to be 22 percent, according to the latest survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare between 2019 and 2021.

The data in NFHS 2019-21, the fifth in the series, show that among all age groups, around 6.7 percent of the population who have never attended school is of 0-4 age group and 0.8 percent population is above 80 years of age.

As per data, 8.6 percent population is of 5-9 age group, 8.8 percent of 10-14 age group, 8.9 percent of 15-19 age group, 9.1 percent of 20-24, 10.4 of 25-29, 7.9 of 30-34, 7.8 of 35-39, 5.7 of 40-44, 5.5 of 45-49, 5.6 of 50-54, 5.6 of 55-59, 3.7 of 60-64, 2.6 of 65-69, 1.7 of 70-75, 0.8 of 75-80 and 0.8 percent of 80 and above age group in Jammu and Kashmir.

Besides this, NFHS noted, 22.4 percent of the population has never attended school, 11.3 percent has attended school for five years, 26.3 percent of the population has attended school for 5-9 years, 14.5 percent have attended school for 10-11 years and 25.5 percent of the population has attended school for more than 12 years.

Pertinently, 29.9 percent of females in J&K have never attended school while 15.3 percent of men have never attended school in J&K. However, when compared with the National average, both genders have relatively higher rates.

In India, the percentage of females without any schooling was recorded at 28.2 percent which is almost 2 percent lower than J&K. Besides this, India has 13.5 percent of men without any schooling.

However, since NFHS-4 which was conducted in 2015-16, the rate of people who have never attended school in J&K has exponentially increased. In NFHS-4, the rate of women who had never attended school was recorded at 29.2 percent while only 11.6 percent of men had never attended a school as per NFHS-4.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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