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Video census of students begins

Learning from past mistakes, State initiates first-ever student census in schools; to eliminate any margin for error such as registration of bogus students, the entire procedure will now be recorded on video

Finally, the much talked about student census by the State and the first in the history of Maharashtra, started yesterday. To make sure that wrongdoings like fudging of figures and so on, do not mar the count, the entire procedure is being video recorded. During the three-day census (Monday to Wednesday), nearly 9.4 lakh students from government-aided schools from Mumbai will be counted under strict surveillance.


Visual proof: A head count of students at govt-aided schools in Mumbai
will be recorded on video for the first time in the history of the state. File PiC


Officials at work
To carry out the census work, several squads of officials from revenue department, deputy collectors, tahsildar and other deputy officials, would be visiting about 2,710 government-aided schools in the city, including primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. The census will be carried under the strict vigilance of
the collectors, both, city and suburb. According to Chandrashekhar Oak, collector of Mumbai, "Every squad will be provided with a videographer, until the counting ends on Wednesday. These videos will then be submitted to the State so that they will have a clear picture of how the census was carried out."

Reason for fudging
According to the education department, more then 90 per cent of the funds from the budget meant for education is spent on salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff. Moreover, the government feels that with the progress of English medium schools, which is attracting parents, admissions to the vernacular mediums are getting affected big time. Hence, in order to prevent the school staff from losing their jobs, the school authorities fudge the figures. Therefore, to control these wrongdoings, the government has resorted to a headcount across the state.

Officialsspeak
P Pawar, Education Inspector, Western zone (Bandra to Dahisar), said, "The schools have been informed that their students and teachers should remain present for the census. The video shoot will take place at the time of survey so that everything will be crystal clear to the government."

Commenting on the issue, Ashok Belsarey, President of Shikshak Bharti, said, "The census that commenced yesterday is fine. We have also requested the collector to hold this survey for the night schools during exam time, as there is every possibility of several students may not being present at the school because of their work." 

Nirmal Kumar Deshmukh, collector of Mumbai Suburban District, said, "In our suburban area, there are 1,900 aided schools and 20,000 divisions. Nearly 400 teams of government officials will be visiting these schools and record the entire census procedure."

2,710
Total number of govt-aided schools in Mumbai

810
No of schools in city limits

1,900
No of schools in the suburbs

9.40 L
Approximate number of students from Mumbai
that would be counted

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