A five-day survey of school dropouts and those who have never enrolled to school will begin under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in Dakshina Kannada from December 12. An added feature of this year’s survey is that photographs of such children will be taken on the spot and its digitised version will be preserved with the database of such children, according to N Shivaprakash, Deputy Project Co-ordinator of the abhiyan in the district. Mr. Shivaprakash told The Hindu that the photographs would help in tracking the children wherever they would be and tracing them in case if they dropped out of school again.

He said that till last year there was no system of taking the photographs of such children during the survey. Their database was being maintained without photographs.

Taking the photographs of such children was mandatory this year. Mr. Shivaprakash said that last year’s survey had found out such children. They had been admitted to the school following the survey. Of the 257 children admitted to school, 63 have migrated out of Dakshina Kannada within the State till November 27, 2012. Photographs of 194 children who have remained in school would also be taken and uploaded to the data base this time. As the abhiyan has software for tracking children admitted to school under the abhiyan the photographs would come in handy to trace them even if the children moved out of the district.

He said that if a student was not attending classes for two months he or she would be considered as a drop out.

Mr. Shivaprakash said that the database of children with special needs maintained in the district had the photographs of all 5,186 children aged between six and 14.

He said philanthropists have donated Rs. 5 crore so far for building infrastructure in government schools. This was in addition to grants received from the government under the abhiyan. The Department of Public Instruction would preserve details of all such donors in digital form.