Drive to bring out-of-school kids to class, underprivileged children to get education

Subhankar Chowdhury
Subhankar Chowdhury
Posted on 27 May 2024
06:15 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image


The school education department has launched an initiative to identify
and enrol out-of-school children who live under flyovers and in roadside slums and who can be spotted at traffic signals.

Children who work in eateries and garages will also be included in this drive.

An official of the department said these out-of-school children would be enrolled at primary schools so they can be imparted elementary education and offered
mid-day meals.


The department wants to enrol them in age-appropriate classes by offering bridge courses.

The official said they are using the ongoing summer vacation to identify the out-of-school children and get them enrolled.

The department has created 25 residential schools for out-of-school children.

The state education policy, which was unveiled by the government in June last year vis-à-vis the National Education Policy, highlights the need to identify and enrol out-of-school children.

“In order to identify the out-of-school children (OoSC), an annual child survey should be completed in the month of September through a mobile app. Data from
this survey may be compared and integrated with the Banglar Shiksha portal for better management of out-of-school children,” the policy says.

“An utmost endeavour is to be taken for bringing out-of-school children into the fold of school education.”

Samagra Shiksha Mission, a wing of the school education department, has been engaged to track such children and bring them into the fold of school education.

“We have asked our district education officers to identify the out-of-school-children by June 30,” said an official of the mission.

Swapan Mandal, general secretary of the Bengal Teachers’ and Employees’ Association, said one reason for children staying out of school is dropout, which surged during the pandemic.

The spike in economic distress following the loss of jobs during this period forced many families to discontinue the studies of their son or daughter and engage them as helping hand in dhabas and garages to sustain the family, he said.

“Families are yet to recover from the distress. The dropout has led to a rise in the count of out-of-school children. The department is now trying to bring them back to school,” said Mandal.

The state education policy says: “Alternative and innovative education centres should be put in place in cooperation with civil society to ensure that children of migrant labourers, and other children who are dropping out of school due to various circumstances are brought back into mainstream education. At present, West Bengal Council of Rabindra Open Schooling (WBCROS) has an entry at the secondary level.”

The policy says that in order to accommodate the out-of-school children at the upper primary level, a suitable policy may be taken for the introduction of upper primary and primary-level education through the council.

An official in the school education department said NGO partners may be involved in the identification of out-of-school children and providing them with special training in schools.

Last updated on 27 May 2024
06:38 AM
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