The net attendance ratio (NAR) is a measure (in percentage) of the official primary school-age population attending primary school. It is important to find and interpret this because it shows how much we have to advance in society and as a nation.
According to the net attendance ratio, one-fourth of school-age children in India do not attend primary school at the right time even though 95% of them did attend primary school at some time later in their life. It depends on a lot of factors, a major one being the urban-rural divide. Children in rural areas are comparatively less likely to attend school at the appropriate age than children living in urban areas. To illustrate this fact, in urban areas, 77% of children who are of primary school age do attend school, while only 71% of students of primary school age attend school in rural areas. Then there is gender parity. In rural areas, boys dominated in terms of the number of students in the class whereas, in urban areas, there was no such observable gender parity.
The net attendance ratio is however not absolute because it does not encompass the students who have completed primary school and advanced to secondary school at an earlier age than the official age.
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