Against the backdrop of rapid economic growth and increased demand for skilled workers, and set within the framework of the recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals, the Government of India’s national mission for secondary education, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, has set an ambitious target of achieving near-universal enrolment in secondary education by 2017.
This policy brief presents longitudinal analysis from Young Lives in Andhra Pradesh. In the most recent survey round, 71% of children had completed secondary school at age 19. Longitudinal data allows us to analyse the factors which help or hinder children to progress through school – including gender, household wealth and ethnic background, and school achievement at early ages. This link to early grade achievement has significant policy implications for primary school programmes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao as well as the recently amended Child Labour Amendment Act. There is now a strong imperative to ensure that children are provided with quality teaching and relevant curriculum if they are to pursue their education and acquire the skills required for the twenty-first century.