659 out-of-school kids identified in Ludhiana, to be enrolled in special training centresUpdated: Jan 13, 2020 22:39 IST
As many as 659 out-of-school children, in the age group of 6 to 14 years, were identified in the city during a household survey conducted by elementary teachers last month. The children identified during the survey, which was conducted between November 25 and December 10, will be enrolled in special training centres from April 1. These children will be mainstreamed into government schools according to their age next year.
According to officials, this is lowest number of out-of-school children detected in the city in the last five years. In 2018, the number of out-of-school children was 1,013 while in 2017, there were 982 such children. In 2016, the number was much higher at 1,657, in 2015, it was 1,911 and in 2014, it was 1,837.
A majority of such children were traced from localities such as Giaspura, Sherpur Kalan, Sherpur Khurd, Gill, Dhandari Kalan and Khurd, Indrapuri and Basti Jodhewal, which is known to have migrant population.
Gita Kohli, an elementary training teacher, said, “Most parents were unwilling to send their children to school as they wanted them to contribute to the family’s income.”
Kohli further said that during the survey, she found that
most parents were aware of all the facilities available in government schools yet they were unwilling to send their children to study.
The household survey is conducted every year under Section (4) of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, which states that, “Where a child above six years of age has not been admitted in any school and could not complete his or her elementary education, then, he or she should be admitted in a class appropriate to his or her age. He or she should be at par with others, must have a right to receive special training within such time-limits.”
Gurpreet Kaur, a special training volunteer, said, “Out-of-school children must be brought to training centres right after they are identified as after a gap of three months, it becomes difficult to find them again.” District education officer (elementary) Rajinder Kaur, said, “The data of the children identified in the survey has been sent to the head office. These children will be enrolled into special training centres run by the ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) from the new academic session set to begin on April 1.”