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Net Attendance Ratio

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. 

What is the Net Attendance Ratio of India?

The Net Attendance Ratio (NAR) is used to calculate how many kids of the right age actually go to primary school in a country. In India, about one-fourth of kids who should be in school don’t go at the right time, even though most of them eventually go to school at some point. There are differences between rural and urban areas, with fewer kids attending school on time in rural places. Also, there are differences between boys and girls, especially in rural areas where boys often have more students in their classes than girls.

However, NAR doesn’t tell us everything. It doesn’t count kids who finish primary school early and move on to the next level before the official age. So, it’s a useful measure, but it doesn’t give the full picture of what’s happening in education.

How to calculate the NAR?

We take the number of children attending a certain level of education and divide it by the total number of children in the official age group for that level. The formula for calculating the Net Attendance Ratio in India is:

NAR=[(Total number of children in the official age group for that level)/(Number of children attending school at a certain level​)]×100

How is NAR used for educational development in India?

It assesses the effectiveness of the education system and identifies areas for improvement. This is done by:

  • Monitoring the progress of educational initiatives by tracking the attendance of children within the official age group for a specific level of education.
  • It is useful for identifying regional and demographic disparities in school attendance.
  • The data derived from NAR calculations can be used to focus on specific regions or communities where attendance rates are lower.

Net Attendance Ratio of India is a powerful tool for making educational policies and improving the literacy rate of the country as a whole.

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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