Question 38

In a recent report, the gross enrolment ratios at the primary level, that is, the number of children enrolled in classes one to five as a proportion of all children aged 6 to 10, were shown to be very high for most states; in many cases they were way above 100 percent! These figures are not worth anything, since they are based on the official enrolment data compiled from school records. They might as well stand for ‘gross exaggeration ratios’.

Which of the following options best supports the claim that the ratios are exaggerated?

Solution

Let’s comprehend the given information first. The ratio of the number of children from classes one to five to all children aged 6 to 10 is very high, often greater than 1. This is the premise. The author says that it is not a valid report as the data is based on official enrolment data compiled from school records and therefore is exaggerated. This is the conclusion.

Here, the assumption is that the enrolment data in school records is often not correct. In order to strengthen the argument, we need to bolster the assumption.

Now, let’s check each option to determine the option that strengthens the assumption.

The first option is the definition of gross enrolment ratio. This statement gives the reason for the high gross enrolment ratios. Hence it is strengthening the premise and weakening the conclusion. Therefore, option A is wrong.

The passage does not talk about the attendance of the students and also attendance is not related to the gross enrolment ratio. Option B does not strengthen the argument. Hence, option B is wrong.

Option C says that 22 percent of the children who do not belong to the age group 6-10 and who have not started going to school but have enrolled in class one are included in the numerator of the ratio. This explains why the ratio is high. Also, the ratio is clearly exaggerated as the students have not started going to school yet. Therefore, option C is the answer as it explains why the ratios are exaggerated.

The decline in the number of children in the age group 6 - 10 has nothing to do with the gross enrolment ratio. Hence, option D is wrong.

Therefore, the answer is option C.

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