The “Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RCFCE) Act 2009” has reaffirmed the longstanding priority and urgency of child education in Orissa. Constitution of India has targeted education for all by 1960, and then onwards there has been several revisions made in terms of deadline to achieve this elusive target. Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan (SSA) interventions have resulted in positive trends in Orissa during last few years. In 2009-10, the net enrolment ratio for primary level has gone up to 92.88 from 87.25 (2000-01) & for upper primary to 85.68 % from 58.64 (2002-03) and a decline in primary dropout of 18.49 % in 2005-06 to 2.83 % in 2009-10. The gender parity index has improved from 0.91 to 0.96.

Orissa has a higher percentage of SC & ST population (38.6 % of the total).There are 34 dialects and 63 tribal groups and The literacy rate among the tribal in southern Orissa is the lowest in the country. As per 2001 Census literacy rate for STs Population in Orissa is 37.4%, (male 51.5% and female 23.4%), whereas the provisional census data 2011 record female literacy rate in southern districts as at 45.89 percent for general population. The dropout rates have drastically fallen over the past decade. At the primary level, dropout rate declined from 41.80 percent in 2000-01 to 2.83 percent in 2009-10. The dropout rate of boys fell from 42.30 percent to 2.57 percent and that for girls from 41.40 percent to 3.10 percent over this 2001 – 2011 period. Although the enrolment levels have gone up under the flagship of SSA, dropout rate has been contained within a limit and level of retention has gone up but the drop out rate for tribal children remains a matter of concern at 6.46 percent and SC children is 4.21 percent. The dropout rate is highest in Mayurbhanj district and lowest in Bargarh district. The rate of dropout increases cumulatively as it proceeds towards higher levels. In upper primary level, dropout rate is 8.19% and among scheduled caste children the rate of dropouts is 15.69 percent in Deogarh district and it is 20.46 percent among scheduled tribe children in Bhadrak district. It is found that the overwhelming rate of dropouts has been due to pressure on children to work at home, non-availability of schools nearby and parental dislike for education (State Plan of action for children 2009-2012)

Despite the statistical change in literacy at large the state of affairs of Quality Education for children remains an area of concern. Infrastructure facilities like, separate toilets, school buildings, female teachers, safe drinking water and other basic amenities remains an area of immediate concern. Quality of education and learning outcomes remain a largely neglected but important area of concern.




Population (million)



Literacy (Percentage)



Female literacy (Percentage)



Out-of-school children 6-14(percentage)

7.2 %

4.0 %

GER Primary


GER Upper Primary


Dropout rate Primary schools


Dropout rate Upper Primary Schools


Net Enrollment Ratio Upper primary


Net enrollment ratio primary


% of children (std 3-5) can read level 1 text



Gender Parity Index primary (Percentage)