As many as 5,663 primary and high school teachers in Dakshina Kannada will conduct an elaborate house-to-house survey to enumerate children aged up to 18.

Beginning on Tuesday, it will go on till Friday.

All those below 18 years, 11 months and 29 days, or a day before their 19th birthday, will be counted as children. Those in this age group have been declared children under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2006. Hitherto, only those below 15 were considered children.

Cluster resource persons (CRPs) held meetings with teachers in different schools on Monday and formed teams and assigned them the areas to be covered. K. Prema, CRP of the Padua cluster, who has been assigned Bejai and surrounding areas comprising 1,300 families, was trying to mobilise more teachers, when contacted. Although she needs at least 26 teachers to constitute 13 teams, she has only nine high school teachers who have no experience in conducting the census. High school teachers have been drafted for census for the first time.

According to Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) C. Chame Gowda, there are more than 4.36 lakh households in the district. Nearly 600 supervisors and nodal officers will supervise the census. Mr. Gowda appealed to the people to chain their dogs during the enumeration so that teachers could enter their premises without fear.

He also urged them to pass on correct information to enumerators as the data gathered would provide important baseline for policy-makers.

He said all schools and high schools in rural areas would remain closed from January 5 to 7 while those in urban areas would remain closed from January 5 to 8. This would apply to all aided, unaided, government, CBSE, ICSE and Central schools, he said. An order to this effect had been passed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Gowda said. He warned that the administration would initiate action against schools that remained open during the enumeration.

He said the survey would cover mining areas, industries, hotels, and slums so as to identify child labourers. They would also enumerate street children and migrants.

Parents could call 0824-2451248 if enumerators failed to visit their houses. “Authorities will arrange to send an enumerator to such houses,” Mr. Gowda said.

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