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Mapping ‘out of school children’

Mapping ‘out of school children’
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JK Samagra Shiksha e-launches Talaash App

JAMMU: Samagra Shiksha, Department of School Education, Jammu and Kashmir, Friday e-launched the ‘Talaash’ app for mainstreaming of Out of School Children (OOSC).
The app was launched by Project Director Samagra Shiksha J&K, Dr. Arun Manhas. The OOSC programme aims to enumerate and keep track of OOSC in a timely and quality manner, through intensive data analysis and monitoring.
The digital application includes: A web-based application for data collection and tracking of out-of-school children; Mobile application for data collection and tracking of out-of-school children and aDashboard for reporting purpose
The application is meant for easy use on smartphones by teachers and others, conducting the mapping/surveys. It would make data collection and entry one step, eliminating the need for manual compilation of data and for sending to the block or any other level for data entry.
Prompts built in the application would ensure that all critical data fields are entered and not left blank. The data will be feasible to view, including through user-friendly analytical reports at various administrative levels through the dashboard, allowing for profiles to be developed on out-of-school children and timely action to be taken and reducing the existing time lag in data availability. The application will also facilitate effective monitoring and tracking of out-of-school children as they are identified and enrolled in schools and special training programmes.
Jammu & Kashmir had an estimated 27500 out-of-school children (OoSC) comprising two categories- Never enrolled; and Dropouts. There are various provisions regarding mainstreaming of OoSC in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, MoE guidelines on Special Training and MHRD Clarification on Provisions of RTE Act, 2009.
At the launch, Dr. Manhas said, “COVID-19 has made the use of technology in education most imminent and EdTech initiatives have grown leaps and bounds in the past one year. Mainstreaming of Out of School Children was one of the priorities of the Ministry of Education, which could be facilitated by technology. Within a span of just under 2-3 months, this app has been developed with the technical support of UNICEF India. This app will make the process of survey of out of school children by digital means easier, accurate and simpler. This has been a collaborative effort from the team of Samagra Shiksha, UNICEF and Velocity Software in making this project possible.
Others present during the programme were Peerzada Mushtaq Ahmed (Field Officer-Samagra Shiksha); Ghulam Rasool Mir (State Coordinator); BalJi Thaploo (State Coordinator); Sunita Fotedar (Programmer); Vikas Kahjuria (Assistant Programmer); Shiekh Suhail, Education Specialist from UNICEF Ganesh Nigam, Aurelia Ardito and Danish Aziz and the developer team from Velocity Software Harsh Agrawal, Nitin Srivastava and Ranjan Sharma.

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