A member of the special task force formed to reduce the dropout rate in schools in Maharashtra has resigned from the group, alleging that the group has failed to come up with answers to the problem within the time assigned.
Constituted in August 2014, the special task force was to come up with solutions to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the state within 30 days. It is yet to release its report.
Upset over the delay, Herambh Kulkarni, a reputed educationist, has resigned from the group. “I am shocked at the lackadaisical attitude with which the government is working on this issue. At this rate, it will take years to reach our goals.”
The decision to form the group was taken following a meeting on August 5 last year, where not-for-profit groups working in the field of education made presentations on the issue. The state appointed prominent educationists and officials, including Farida Lambay, Srinivas Shastri, Siddhesh Wadkar, Deepak Nagargoje and others, as members of the group.
The report is important in implementing the Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE) said Kulkarni. “There are 9 lakh out-of-school children in the state, but there cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy. Children in different parts of the state face different issues that keep them out of school.”
Though the committee was expected to submit a complete report of its suggestions to the state within 30 days, it did not meet till November 30. No other meeting was held after that.
Members visited different parts of the state to study problems faced by children and prepared suggestions, which were submitted by members by December 5 to Mahavir Mane, director of primary education, who headed the group. The report has been pending with Mane since then and has not yet been released to the state.
“The delay could have been because of elections, change of government,” said Farida Lambay, co-founder of NGO Pratham.
Mane was unavailable for comment. “We have submitted the report to the director, he is looking through it and will finalise it soon,” said an official.