J&K to conduct survey of ‘out of school’ children

Report to be finalised by May 31: Project Director Samagra
School children during morning assembly in a Srinagar school. [Representational Image]
School children during morning assembly in a Srinagar school. [Representational Image] File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, May 18: The J&K School Education Department (SED) is planning

to start an exhaustive exercise and carry out a survey and collect the

number of Out of School Children (OoSC) in J&K UT.

The directions in this regard have been issued by the Project Director

Samagra Shiksha Deep Raj in a meeting with all the Chief Education Officers

(CEOs) and Principals of District Institute of Education and Training

(DIET) of J&K UT.

This time the government will conduct the survey through the “TALAASH”

application with a broader objective of tracking down and mainstreaming all the students between the age group of 6-18 years who are out of school.

The move comes after the department failed to enroll the out-of-school

children in the schools for the past many years, despite repeated instructions from the Department of School Education and Literary (DSEL), Government of India (GoI).

An official in the civil secretariat here said the decision to conduct the survey was taken after the Ministry of Education (MoE) reprimanded J&K SED for its “poor performance” in enrolling these OoSC students.

“The department could not identify the out-of school children in J&K

UT and enable them to join mainstream schools. In view of this, the MoE asked the department to start a fresh survey to collect data in this regard,” the official said.

As already reported by this newspaper the Secretary DSEL, Anita Karwal, while taking a review of the overall functioning of the SED J&K, earlier this year set a target of mainstreaming OoSC during the current year.

“The department has nominated planners and surveyors who have been imparted training with regard to the usage of TALAASH app and the related guidelines,” an official said.

Meanwhile, the CEOs have instructed the Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) to direct the surveyors to start commencement of the activities with immediate effect strictly in accordance with the guidelines in vogue.

“Moreover District Nodal Officers and Zonal Nodal Officers shall maintain close Liaison both with the planners and surveyors and submit daily progress in this regard for onward submission to higher authorities,” reads a circular issued by one of the CEOs.

The department has instructed the surveyors to follow guidelines for the smooth conduct of the survey noting that the survey should be conducted post school hours.

“So that it will not create hurdles in teaching, learning process and other co scholastic activities,” the circular reads.

The technical staff of nodal officers has been instructed to accord necessary technical support to the field functionaries and ensure surveyor ID database is intact.

The department has fixed the deadline for the completion of the survey as May 30. “Any dereliction in implementation thereof shall invoke action under norms,” the circular reads.

Project Director Samagra Shiksha J&K UT, Deep Raj acknowledged that there was no outcome of various surveys to identify OoSC during the past many years.

“It is true that the surveys did not yield any result on ground and out of school children were not identified as well. But this time we have started the survey through a digital platform which will have its result by the end

of this month,” he said.

He said the TALAASH application was launched in March last year but it was not put to use due to some technical glitches. “But we have removed all the glitches

in the app and it is now available on Google play store,” he said. He said the department has trained around 30000 teachers for carrying out the survey through the app. “It will be a mega exercise and the number of OoSC children identified through this survey will be shared on May 31,” he told Greater Kashmir.

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