Tent schools still on paper, migrant kids denied edu

Tent schools still on paper, migrant kids denied edu

Women labourers with their children on a sugarcane field in Mandya.

It is harvest season in Mandya district. Thousands of people from North Karnataka migrate to the district, which is one of the largest sugarcane producers in the state.

The labourers migrate with families and stay here till the harvest is completed. This may take around six months, denying education to their wards, accompanying them.

More than 50 lakh tonnes of sugarcane is ready for harvest, this season, in the district. The cane is supplied to three sugar factories in the district, and also to sugar factories in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts and also to the neighbouring Tamil Nadu state. As there is a shortage of labourers in Mandya, people from Kalaburagi, Raichur, Vijayapura, Ballari and other places migrate during the season to work as labourers.

They erect makeshift tents and huts at available places. With Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam full to the brim, there is no problem for water. Most of them reside near the canals for convenience. The children accompanying them, studying in primary and high schools, are denied of education for around six months. The harvest begins by the end of October and continue till March. The children help their parents and spend some time, by playing on the fields.

Lakshmi Bai, a worker, said, “If we have to send them to schools and stay in our villages, who will look after our families? If we miss now, we will not get work anywhere later. We send them to schools after returning to our villages. If they are not allowed in the schools, we will engage them in our work.”

Tent schools

The Education department advises Tent Schools for such migrating students. But, it is still on papers and is not implemented. The labourers have migrated to the district almost two months ago. But no steps have been taken in this regard.

DDPI Raghunandan assured that necessary details on the number of migrated labourers and their children will be collected and tent schools will be started. "Measures will been taken to admit the children in local schools,” he said.

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