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Nudge to improve government school attendance in West Bengal

District inspector of schools expresses dissatisfaction in his communication to the heads of institutions

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 30.06.22, 06:40 AM
An official in the office of the district inspector of schools in Calcutta said they were telling the school heads verbally to take steps to improve attendance.

An official in the office of the district inspector of schools in Calcutta said they were telling the school heads verbally to take steps to improve attendance.

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The school education department has asked the heads of government-run and aided schools to take steps to improve attendance, which was not satisfactory on the first day of reopening of the institutions after a prolonged summer vacation.

A district inspector (DI) of schools highlighted that attendance was not satisfactory in his communication to the heads of institutions.

Before that, the issue was highlighted in a video-conference attended by the commissioner of schools and DIs on Monday, the day government-run and aided schools reopened after summer vacation, which started on May 2.

A circular sent to the heads of institutions (HOIs) by a district inspector of schools in a south Bengal district says: “As per direction of CSE (commissioner of school education)… all HOIs are sincerely requested to look into the matter of attendance of their students on a daily basis so that maximum number of students may come to schools.”

An official in the office of the district inspector of schools in Kolkata said they were telling the school heads verbally to take steps to improve attendance.

“If required, they should go to the houses of the absentee students and motivate them to attend school,” the official said.

Since the reopening, a section of students has been staying away from class. Financial constraints faced by their families prompted many students to join work, the heads of several institutions said.

Some of the schools in the city are recording thin attendance from Class IX to XII.

The attendance in a number of schools was less than 60 per cent at the upper primary level (from Class V to VIII) on Monday, said an official in the DI’s office in Kolkata. Poor attendance has been recorded at the primary level, too.

The head of an institution said sending sons or daughters to work as help to sustain the family has been a standard practice in a large number of underprivileged families during the Covid pandemic.

“This has continued during the 57-day summer vacation as well. Since students from Class IX to XII are not within the ambit of the mid-day meal programme, children from underprivileged families studying in these classes don’t see any incentive in coming to the campus,” said the headmaster.

Last updated on 30.06.22, 06:40 AM
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