Of 812 dropouts in Udupi, 199 are back in class

As many as 812 children dropped out of the schools in Udupi district in 2013-14. As per the Right to Education (RTE) Act, all children between 6 and 14 years have to be provided free and compulsory education.

This figure of 812 out-of-school children is high compared to the past two years — 123 dropouts in 2012-13 and 86 in 2011-12. But in 2011-12 and 2012-13, the dropouts were based only on field survey.

This year (2013-14), in addition to field survey, the officials of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) verified the school records. The verification involved checking if transfer certificates were taken by the students.

P. Nagaraj, Deputy Project Coordinator of SSA, said of a total 1,008 children who dropped out in the district, 13 had died, while 183 names were found to be repeated. This meant that 812 students had dropped out. Of this 812 students, 439 had migrated to other districts and places with their parents.

The officials went and traced 199 dropouts and their parents and convinced them to return to schools. “As a result, 199 children had been enrolled in schools in the district. We will trace and convince the remaining 174 students and get them admitted to the nearby schools in April or May. These students will be given three months training under Chinnara Angala programme,” Mr. Nagaraj said.

Under Chinnara Angala, an intensive form of the curriculum is taught after which the children are enrolled in the appropriate regular classes.

The Udupi district SSA has given the names of 439 migrated children to its State office to check if these children have enrolled themselves in schools in other places.

The SSA had also done a survey of why the students had dropped out of the schools. “Some children had dropped out because the school was far, some to help their parents in household work and agriculture. Many children had migrated to other places with their parents,” Mr. Nagaraj said.

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