NGOs demand better methods to identify, enrol out-of-school children
Non-government organisations (NGOs) working towards abolishing child labour wrote to the state government recently, demanding better mechanisms to identify out-of-school children and enrol them in schools.mumbai Updated: Oct 22, 2016 00:13 IST
Non-government organisations (NGOs) working towards abolishing child labour wrote to the state government recently, demanding better mechanisms to identify out-of-school children and enrol them in schools.
They said that most children enrolled in schools after the previous surveys are not attending school. They said they were not even part of the competency tests conducted this year.
“The surveys were only token gestures. After enrolling children, the department has not checked their attendance in schools,” said Herambh Kulkarni, Pune-based educationist, who was part of the committee in charge of co-ordinating the survey but later resigned from it. “NGOs working on the ground found these children started playing truant after attending school for a few days.”
The state school education department last year conducted two surveys to identify the number of children who never attended school or dropped out later. Around 74,000 such students were found through these surveys and officials said they were later enrolled in schools. Although Vinod Tawde, education minister, said that these surveys will continue throughout the year, activists said that the government has stopped searching for more such children. No survey was conducted this year.
Kulkarni said that the number of students identified in the surveys is just a fifth of the total children estimated to be out of school. “None of these figures even come close to the surveys done by NGOs on the same subject,:” he said.
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), for instance, had found nearly 1.85 lakh children to be out of school. Among these, 38,000 children were identified to be from the city’s streets. Besides, other surveys had found two to three lakh out-of-school children from 25 lakh families working in brick kilns.
Justifying the survey findings, officials from the education department said, “We are working on a system to keep a track of the students. A biometric system to allow online tracking is in the pipeline,” said a senior official from the department.