Free bikes make help curb India’s dropout problem

A program pioneered by India’s poorest state, Bihar, is spreading across the country in an effort to keep female teens in school. When girls reach ninth grade, they can get a bike paid for by the state, reports the Associated Press

This seemingly simple act is making a big difference. After the first four years of the program, which began in 2007, the number of girls enrolled in ninth grade tripled from 175,000 to 600,000. 

"We found that the high school dropout rate soared when girls reached the ninth grade. This was primarily because there are fewer high schools and girls had to travel longer distances to get to school," Anjani Kumar Singh, Bihar’s principal secretary overseeing education, told the AP. "The results are remarkable. The school dropout rate for girls has plunged”

Tags: India