Mangaluru: August 14, 2015: The officials of the Department of Public Instructions of Dakshina Kannada district have successfully enrolled 118 of the 127 school dropouts in the district till July.
With this, the number of children out of school has come down to a single digit in the district.
According to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) official, of the three children who are out of school in Puttur block, two have gone to Nepal and one child is in Koppal district. “In Bantwal block, the lone dropout has gone to Saudi Arabia with his parents. In Sullia block, the parents of two children have agreed to enrol their children to schools again. In Mangaluru South, three children are still out of school. When children go out of the district, it becomes a tough task to trace them,” he said.
A child can be called as ‘out of school’ if he or she is absent continuously for seven days from the school, as per the norms of the Department. The officials, however, have directed the schools to check the status of a child through the school and cluster resource persons (CRP) and education coordinators after four days of absence. The education coordinator would also have to issue a notice to the parents of the child seeking acknowledgement of the absence. If necessary, the child would be produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and be enrolled to a nearby school.
After the enrolment of the dropouts, the school would have to facilitate such children with special courses, which will help the children to join mainstream education at the earliest. In most of the cases, the children would be enrolled to the local schools and special arrangement is made for providing shelter for children from the CWC.
The official said that the problem of children leaving schools is greater with migrants than with the local residents. “If migrants avail a migrant card from their schools before leaving their places of current stay, it serves as a document. But, most of such people are unaware of such a facility. The number of school dropouts, however, has decreased from 1,470 – as per the survey in 2013-14 – to nine in July, 2015, within a span of just one year,” said SSA assistant project coordinator James Coutinho.
In an education coordinators’ meeting in Bengaluru on July 30, the coordinators said that there are no reports of school dropouts in the district. The next survey on out-of-school children will be held in November.