J&K performs poorly in enrolment of out-of-school children

Against the target of 27,355, only 600 joined schools through NRSTCs

SYED RIZWAN GEELANI
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 25 2018 12:53AM | Updated Date: May 25 2018 12:53AM
J&K performs poorly in enrolment of out-of-school childrenFile Photo

Against the target of 27,355 out-of-school children (OSC), only 600 have joined mainstream schools in one year, throwing a major challenge to the government to increase enrollment of such students.

During the last academic year, the state government in its Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting held on March 10, 2017 had revealed that there were 27,355 OSC in the state, out of which “10,942 will be enrolled in the schools during the 2017-18.”

In MHRD guidelines, a child in age group of 6-14 years is considered out-of-school if he/she has never been enrolled in an elementary school or if after enrolment has been absent without prior intimation for 45 days or more.

“The performance of state is very poor in this regard. Only 600 students have joined the normal schools,” said an official wishing not to be named as he was not authorized to talk to the media.

He said against the target of 27,355 OSC, 4,136 children who were never enrolled in the schools were registered in non-residential special training centres (NRSTC) out of which only 600 have been shifted to normal schools after proper evaluation of their performance.

“In NRSTCs, the department engages inservice teachers who work during off hours and bring out of school children for counseling and also provide them all the facilities like books, school bags, uniform and other stationery item to them so that they get attracted to schools,” the official said.

He said the children are trained in these centres for six months or more and on the basis of their performance are shifted to normal schools.

The official who is privy to the process said that most of the NRSTCs are not functional in the villages due to which very less number of children join the schools.

“Apart from NRSTCs, some children might have got directly enrolled in schools or in KGBVS but the number cannot be so high,” he said.

Amid the poor performance of the department in this regard, a committee has been constituted to make efforts to increase their enrolment and ‘arrest’ the dropout rate.

“Such efforts will improve the overall literacy rate in the state,” reads an order issued by secretary school education department Farooq Ahmad Shah.

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