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ATTRITION RATES IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN DELTA STATE OF NIGERIA
This study investigated attrition rates in selected primary schools in Delta State, Nigeria, involving 5,545 pupils comprising 3,014 boys and 2,531 girls using the 2003 cohort. A checklist collected data on the flow of pupils from all available school records from the start of cohort to graduation. Percentage and mean were used for data analysis. Average attrition rate found was 19.24%, highest was 36.60% for a public/rural/small school, lowest was 7.24% for a private/urban/large school, 15.60% for boys and 23.59% for girls. Generally, attrition rates were higher in girls than in boys, and in public than private, rural than urban, and small than large schools. These rates were all lower than the fifty percent and above found in earlier studies in Nigeria, indicating improvement in school attendance, reduction in wastages, and improvement in girl-child education. Although these rates did not meet the UNESCO’s one percent minimum, they did not exceed its fifty percent maximum, and were not as alarming as older studies indicated. The index of wastage provided by these rates would help government in strategizing and projecting targets for achieving the EFA and MDG goals by 2015. There is however room for greater improvement if public primary schools were better equipped and greater campaign pursued for formal girl-child education.
Key words: Primary school, attrition rates, Delta State, Nigeria.