Govt fails to rope in out of school kids for admissions
Out of targeted 27,355 kids only 600 were admitted in schools
Srinagar: The school education department has miserably failed to increase the admission of out-of-school children (OSC) in various schools, exposing the sluggishness of the education department.
The school education department was supposed to enroll around 27,355 out-of-school children (OSC) in schools in the last academic session however, it has been able to enroll only 600 to join mainstream schools in one year. The poor performance has thrown a major challenge to the government to increase enrollment as well as the literacy rate in J&K state.
The state government in 2017 had stated that there were around 27,355 OSC in the state, out of which “10,942 will be enrolled in the schools during the 2017-18.” However, there has been no substantial decrease in the number of these OSC kids.
As per the MHRD guidelines, a child in age group of 6-14 years is considered out-of-school if he/she has never been enrolled in an elementary school or if after enrolment has been absent without prior intimation for 45 days or more.
However, the MHRD has ridiculed the state government for not even understating the proper definition of the out of school children. The state officials were reprimanded in the recent PAB meeting convened by MHRD secretary education and literacy in June this year for their failure to control the dropout rate in schools.
“The state has not been able to properly define the out of school children. The officials should understand the issue properly and take immediate steps to decrease the number of school dropouts,” read the minutes of the meeting.
The MHRD has observed that the performance of state was poor in this regard as only 600 students have joined the normal schools.
“Around 4,136 children who were never enrolled in the schools were registered in mandatory non-residential special training centres (NRSTC). But out of them only 600 were shifted to normal schools,” an official said.
In NRSTCs, the department engages in-service teachers who work during off hours and bring out of school children for counseling and also provide them all the facilities like books, school bags, uniform and other stationery items so that they get attracted to schools.
However, an official attributed the poor performance of state to decrease the number of OSC to the non-functional NRSTCs in villages.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) G N Itoo said the department has constituted a committee to look into the matter.
“We are examining the issue and efforts are on to reduce the number of ‘out of school’ children. We are hopeful to meet the target this year,” he said.