Difficult to track children in migration

Difficult to track children in migration

Recently, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar enrolled two migrant dropout kids at a construction site in Bengaluru to school. After five days, their parents pulled them out of the school saying that they are going back to their home town. The whereabouts of these families is not known now.

The lack of an adequate mechanism to track students who drop out of school is also resulting in the under-reporting of child labour.

Block-level officers and head of the institutions are required to maintain a ‘movement register’ for children in migration to track them.

Also Read: ‘Eliminate child labour in global supply chains’

However, officials in the education department say that it is difficult to track a child if he or she stops attending school and migrates to another place.

In most cases, the department is unable to track dropouts as the proper address of the parents or guardians is not provided.

“This is why we have decided to link movement registers with an online Students Achievement Tracking System. It would help us track the movement of each child and ensure that they have been admitted back to school wherever they are,” explained an official.

Also Read: Lost innocence: Millions of children toil as labourers

According to the data released by the Department of Public Instructions, over 8,627 children were out of school in October 2019 and this was based on the number of children absent from schools for a week. “Even in the recent out-of-school survey report, it is mentioned that the major reason for children being out-of-school is migration. Hence, we have brought out a policy,” the official said.

With persistent drought and the devastation caused by floods, hundreds of families from Bagalkot, Belagavi, Yadgir and other districts move to cities like Bengaluru in search of work. Studies also indicate distress migration from northern and northeastern states to southern states. 

Following a recent High Court direction, Karnataka Department of Primary and Secondary Education constituted an expert committee and based on its report, came out with ‘Migrated children and Children of migrated daily wagers Right for Free and Compulsory Education Policy 2019’. 

Also Read: Need to strengthen monitoring, rehabilitation

This policy seeks to ensure that school dropouts and migrant children between the age group of 6 to 14 years continue education and don’t end up working as labourers. 

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