Missed school for a month? Maharashtra government will stop benefits | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Missed school for a month? Maharashtra government will stop benefits

The names of these students will be uploaded on an online ‘drop box’, introduced as part of the government’s database, SARAL. This is being done to arrest the rate of drop-outs in schools

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2017 00:13 IST
Puja Pednekar
Puja Pednekar
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai scholls,maharashtra schools
Students whose names will feature in the box will be considered as drop-outs, no longer part of the school(HT)

To ensure that students take lectures seriously, the state government passed a resolution on Wednesday mandating all Maharashtra schools to report pupils who remain absent for more than 30 days at a stretch. Schools will be held accountable for them and they will be left out while providing government aid and staff approvals.

The names of these students will be uploaded on an online ‘drop box’, introduced as part of the government’s database, SARAL. This is being done to arrest the rate of drop-outs in schools.

Students whose names will feature in the box will be considered as drop-outs, no longer part of the school. .

A child’s name will be removed from the drop box, only if they regularise their attendance, reads the resolution issued by the state school education department. The drop box is available on the student portal of the database, which can be accessed by schools using their U-DISE number and password.

“This move will help in early identification of drop-outs, and hopefully prevent them from discontinuing their education,” said Nanda Kumar, principal secretary of the department. Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that children receive at least elementary education — from class 1 to 8.

Attempts by the state government to curb the drop-out rate have not yielded results. In the first week of January, the department had announced a selfie initative, in which teachers were asked to click photos with their students every week and upload them onto the database. But the initiative drew flak from social workers and activists for being fickle and impractical; it was shelved on January 11.

In 2015, the state had called for a day long survey to count the number of out-of-school children across Maharashtra. School teachers were roped in to identify children in their neighbourhood and enrol them. Few more surveys were carried out in the past two years.

Although 74,000 students were identified across the state in these surveys and allegedly admitted to age-appropriate classrooms, activists complained that the government failed to keep a tab on them — to check if they were still studying at the school or dropped out again.

Schools will also have to update students’ performance online. While promoting students in classes 1 to 8, they can flag academically weak students as “not progressed” and work on their skills before the next year begins.

Transferring students’ information from one school to another will also have to be done online through a new facility on the database. Schools will be able to share the information online when the child moves to another school. This will help in tracking the child and hassle-free admission if the child migrates.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 00:13 IST