Schools asked to conduct another survey to find out-of-school students

Even as the first survey seems to have been a waste of time as nothing was done about children registered then, education department wants another one to be conducted by October 30

After a failed attempt at finding the number of children who are out-of-school in the state, many schools have now got a circular asking them to conduct another similar survey. The education department has asked all schools to conduct another survey before October 30 in order to find more such children, if any.

Teachers had conducted the first survey in July this year. Most state board schools have exams and officials are wondering how they will spare teachers for the new survey. File pic
Teachers had conducted the first survey in July this year. Most state board schools have exams and officials are wondering how they will spare teachers for the new survey. File pic

The problem, however, is that most schools are yet to receive this circular and already feel this exercise is useless, as most of them will be busy conducting their term exams and till date, nothing has been done about the children who were registered in the first survey in July.

“The circular says another such survey needs to be conducted now, before October 30. This is to reach out to those children who were not considered in the first round of survey,” said B B Chavan, deputy director of school education.

While the circular mentions the need for completion of this process on or before October 30, there is no mention of what is to be followed once the survey is conducted. “There will be another circular to mention the further process,” added Chavan.

Just few days after the first survey was conducted, mid-day had highlighted how both BMC and officials from the education department were waiting for each other to take the initiative to get these children back into schools, ‘Is the out-of-school scheme out of favour’ (mid-day July 24).

“All schools right now are still wondering what needs to be done because no explanation was given last time as well. We don't see the point of conducting this survey again if there is no assurance that it will be put to use,” said Uday Nare, a teacher at Hansraj Morarji School in Andheri.

With the first term examinations already underway at most state board schools, principals are also worried about how they will manage a survey in the middle of the examination session. “The exercise looks very dicey because our teachers will be busy with examinations.

How can we spare anyone for a survey?” asked Fr Francis Swamy, from St Xavier’s School at Dhobi Talao. The education department has not given any alternative plan to schools.

The July survey
The survey was conducted in order to reach out to all students who are out-of-school and encourage them to attend school regularly, as per RTE. The surveyors (teachers, education officials) were allotted a street or an area, and were directed to knock on every door.

While the out of school children were marked on their left hand with a permanent marker, their parents were asked to fill a form with details of the last school attended by the child if any, and at what level he/she dropped out.

They were also asked to identify the school they would like their child to attend. The survey found almost 9,000 students in Mumbai are not in school.

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