Syed Muthahar Saqaf
Novel campaign for increasing school enrolment is on
TIRUCHI: Though the schools are in the midst of summer holidays, groups of service-minded teachers of the Government elementary schools and middle schools, students and parents, along with service organisations are involved in a novel campaign for increasing enrolment in schools.
A majority of the 1,337 government elementary and middle schools – 992 elementary schools and 345 middle schools - in all the 16 blocks have completed the campaign, launched by the State Directorate of Elementary Education and the response has been overwhelming, according to Education Department sources here.
What has given more satisfaction to the department and those involved in the campaign is that hundreds of students enrolled belonged to the ‘not going to schools' category. But for this campaign, they would have remained in their houses.
The Directorate much ahead of the summer holidays sent a directive to all the elementary and middle schools to organise enrolment campaigns. Teachers and others involved in the campaign were asked to go door-to-door in the vicinity of the schools, identify children in the school going age idling their time and enrol them in schools.
The schools swung into action and made the whole campaign a big success. Local residents were briefed on the compulsory education policy of the government and the initiatives taken to eradicate illiteracy.
The teachers roped in Rotary and Lions Clubs and other voluntary agencies for sponsoring various programmes for the success of the campaign. To attract the attention of the people, wall posters and banners explaining the importance of the campaign were displayed at vantage points. Some of the enthusiastic schools even organised rallies led by local folk artistes which frequently went around the villages. Street plays and road side meetings also formed part of the campaign.
They distributed pamphlets explaining the various facilities available in the village schools. Quality education, spacious class rooms, drinking water facility, computer, television, DVD, noon-meals, free uniforms, books and notebooks, well educated and trained teachers, special initiative for improving the communicative skills, were highlighted in the pamphlets.
Eligible students were admitted on the spot with the consent of the parents. Uniforms, books and note books were distributed to them immediately.
The novel campaign has attracted all sections of the society in the villages and has evoked overwhelming response, observed V. Ramachandran, District Elementary Education Officer (in-charge). “The reports and feedback received from the schools have been very encouraging. This campaign has enabled in enrolling hundreds of young boys and girls, who otherwise would not have joined the schools at all,” Mr. Ramachandran says.
Over 250 eligible students were admitted to the schools in the 95 elementary schools in Lalgudi block alone during the campaign so far, says Joe Evelin Janet, Assistant Elementary Education Officer, Lalgudi block.
The teaching community has widely welcomed the move. “It is mutually beneficial to both the schools and the whole society. This campaign is a trend setter for the successful implementation of the compulsory education programme”, observed G. Thilakavathi, Headmistress, Periyar Maniammai Girls HSS.
T. M. Srinivasan, correspondent, E. R. HSS is of the view that this campaign is a move in the right direction. “Education is the primary asset of a society. Cooperation among parents, students and teachers and three ‘S', representing staff, students and the system, will alone set right the whole process. India needs in abundance youths with adequate higher qualification. For achieving this, educationists have to go to the streets to pick up children”, Mr. Srinivasan, pointed out.