According to a survey conducted by SSA

: Over 3,000 children of the city, who are in the school-going age, are not attending school, according to a recent door-to-door survey conducted by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).

The survey of school dropouts, child labourers and those children never enrolled was completed last week. The results of the survey would be used for appropriate intervention which includes organising bridge courses for mainstreaming of the children, said an official of SSA.

“Around 2,000 of the identified children would require a non-residential bridge course before mainstreaming them in normal schools,” the official said.

The number of dropouts is around 1,600 and students who never enrolled are 300 in number. In the area around Pudupet and Chintadripet, more than 250 children were engaged in labour.

E.Kuttima, a school dropout, said that she was a rag picker, since her father asked her to do the work. “I make Rs.200 a day and give it to my father,” she said.

A.Job, another dropout said, “I do not like my school. I stopped going to school because I was scared of my teacher.”

A.Santhi, his mother said she has planned to send him to school the coming year. “He has wasted one year,” she regretted.

According to an official involved in the survey, some children identified as drop outs were actually involved in making school bags. “We found a few such children in Broadway.”

Over 5,000 habitations in the city and more than 10,000 streets were covered in the survey. It also covered students of nearly 750 schools, including Corporation schools, Adi Dravida Welfare schools, government and aided schools in the city.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012