CS orders survey to find school dropouts

T M Vijay Bhaskar

Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar on Wednesday directed the Department of Women and Child Development to carry out a night survey in August, especially in Bengaluru, to assess the actual number of children who have dropped out of school. 

The survey, to be conducted on the lines of the census, will also identify children who take shelter at bus stands, under flyovers and in parks, Bhaskar said while addressing a state-level inter-departmental high-power committee on bringing dropouts back to school. 

The Education Department has identified 70,000 children aged 6-18 as dropouts, according to its Students Achievement Tracking System (SATS).

It was noted in the meeting that the drawback of SATS is that it does not track a child who has never been enrolled in a school. At present, any child absent from school for 60 days or more is considered a dropout. This criterion should be changed to seven days, activist Kathyayini Chamaraj urged the government. 

Bhaskar urged officials to enable the “ease of joining schools” like the “ease of doing business.” Schools should not demand Aadhaar, ration card, birth certificate, caste certificate and transfer certificate to “terrorise” parents unnecessarily
at the time of admissions, he said.

Bhaskar asked the Labour Department to get children of migrant labourers free public transport passes so that they can access school.

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