The enrolment drive started by the school education department has gained momentum with new admission of over 31152 students made within two weeks in 4051 government schools having primary classes.
As per official figures there are around 10789 government schools out of which 4051 schools have primary classes as well.
The Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) started a comprehensive village level survey to identify and enrol Out of School Children (OoSC) besides making new admission of students in kindergarten classes.
As per the official figures, Baramulla district has taken a lead in making fresh admissions of students of different ages groups in government schools. The district has 1223 schools with primary sections which have witnessed fresh admission of over 10033 students in the past two weeks. Baramulla district is followed by Kupwara where fresh admissions of over 8776 students have been made in government school during the enrolment drive.
The department has started the exhaustive exercise to control the rate of the OoSC and also increase the enrolment in the government educational institutions.
The school teachers are actively participating in the enrolment drive for OoSC at village level besides offering admissions to students for kindergarten classes in the government schools.
The department was prompted to start the village level survey to identify the OoSC and door to door enrolment drive after witnessing a dip in student population in government schools.
This newspaper earlier reported that the enrolment at elementary level in government schools was decreased by 1.75 lakh in the 2019-20 academic year. The department also fared poorly on retention rate at primary, upper primary and secondary level classes in government schools.
The grim picture of the 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 government schools also witnessed decline in the retention rate which was only 60 percent at elementary level and only 50 percent at secondary level.
Meanwhile, Anantnag district has made new admission of over 3794 students in government schools during the enrolment drive, Bandipora-3431, Budgam-3283, Ganderbal-2876, Kulgam-1595, Srinagar-1583, Shopian-588 and Pulwama-494 students.
Also, two government school teachers also admitted their kids in government primary school Mir Muhalla in Hardupanzoo area of Budgam district.
The DSEK, Muhammad Younis Malik complimented the teachers, heads of institutions besides zonal and district level officers of the department for making the enrolment drive a success.
“The increase of over 30000 students in government schools in a period of two weeks is a big achievement for us. Our teachers succeeded in building confidence among the children,” Malik said.
He further said the teacher counsellors have also reached out to over 2.5 lakh students during lockdown and pandemic situation in order to provide them counselling regarding mental stress, academic issues amid the COVID19 pandemic.
“With the start of enrolment drive, the department is firm to leave no stone unturned in reaching out to all students even those living at the tail end be it through online classes, tele-classes or radio broadcast classes,” he said.
He said the J&K government has approved 2500 more kindergarten schools in addition to the existing schools which have started KG classes.
“A massive outreach is needed to ensure that no student is left out or deprived of free and quality education which is entitled to students under the RTE Act,” he said.