The School Education Department has launched a comprehensive village-level survey to identify the Out of School Children (OoSC) and also offers new admissions to students up to upper primary classes in government schools.
The department has started this exhaustive exercise to control the rate of the OoSC and also increase the enrollment in government educational institutions.
Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK), Muhammad Younis Malik said the village-level survey has been started to work out the number of out of schools children and also to offer fresh admissions at the kindergarten level and first primary.
“We are hopeful to get a good response, especially in mainstreaming OoSC at different levels in government schools,” Malik said.
The government school teachers are actively participating in identifying the OoSC at village level to enroll them in government schools besides offering admissions for kindergarten classes in the schools.
“We are approaching local village-level committees and make them aware about the facilities besides various schemes available for kids in government schools,” a teacher said.
The teachers have also started a campaign on social media to motivate parents to enroll their kids in government schools. These days, social media remains flooded with the classrooms pictures of government schools with posters highlighting benefits of various schemes in government schools.
“We are getting a good response for admission in kindergarten classes and also in some areas we have been able to mainstream out of school children as well,” the teacher said.
In the latest enrollment drive, the department is selling the slogan of “free and compulsory education” which is entitled for students under the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 that became applicable in J&K from October 2019.
The department was prompted to start the village-level survey to identify the OoSC and door-to-door enrollment drive after witnessing a dip in student population in government schools.
Greater Kashmir earlier reported that the enrollment at elementary level in government schools decreased by 1.75 lakh in a year. The department also fared poorly on retention rate at primary, upper primary and secondary-level classes in government schools.
The grim picture of student population in government schools was revealed at a Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting chaired by Secretary Education and Literacy in the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in June this year.
The total enrollment decline between the grades was nearly 1.75 lakh in 2019-20.
However, an official said presently around 20,000 students have been enrolled in government schools including admissions at entry level (kindergarten section).