Close to 2,000 out-of-school students, including children who never enrolled and those of migrant workers, were identified by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan as part of its annual survey conducted across the ten zones. The maximum number of school dropouts (192) was identified from Zone 1 (George Town) and Zone 4 (Perambur).

The year’s survey, conducted from April 10 to May 3, also covered children in the age group (15-18). Previously, it covered students in the age group (6-14).

In Chennai, the exercise saw the involvement of 1,000 teachers from government, corporation and aided schools. Block resource teacher educators, supervisors (one for each zone), a chief educational officer, an assistant programme officer and a district coordinator were also involved. These representatives went from door to door explaining to parents the benefits of education, the facilities offered in schools such as supply of four uniforms a year, footwear, school bags, stationery and excursion tours. Bridge courses will be conducted for the identified children and they would be enrolled in age-appropriate classes.

Talking about the difficulties faced by the staff in convincing parents to send them back to school, V.Sasi Kumar, district coordinator, Out of School Children, SSA, says some parents insist that some monetary assistance be given.

If you come across any dropouts within the city limits, contact Sasi Kumar at 9788858507.

Keywords: school dropouts