Coimbatore

Exempt NCLP students from public examinations: NGO

Students at the Special Training Centre run under the National Child Labour Project functioning at Gundri Hills in Erode district.

Students at the Special Training Centre run under the National Child Labour Project functioning at Gundri Hills in Erode district.   | Photo Credit: M_GOVARTHAN

It will result in dropouts; they are not used to regular school atmosphere

With board examinations becoming mandatory for students of Classes V and VIII, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) that runs Special Training Centres (STC) under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) has sought exemption for the students as it fears that it will result in dropouts.

To rehabilitate rescued child workers in the age group of 9 to 14 years, 15 centres, run by four NGOs, were functioning with 308 students at Bargur, Anthiyur, Gundri, Talavadi, Hasanur and Sathyamangalam.

Monitored by District Project Societies, the students are provided with bridge education, vocational training, mid-day meal and after two-years of training, they are main-streamed into the formal education system. The Child Labour Division of the Ministry of Labour and Employment provides ₹ 400 as stipend to the children every month by way of depositing it in the child’s bank account.

To get books, uniforms and other freebies provided by the State Government, they are admitted in the nearby schools, but continue to study at the centres run by the NGOs.

A recent order asking the NGOs to prepare the students in such centres for the board examinations to ensure 100% result has shocked them. They say that the students, who are not used to the school atmosphere, should be exempted from the exams.

S.C. Natraj, director of Service Unit for Development Activities in Rural (SUDAR), an NGO that runs seven NCLP schools in the hills, says that due to family circumstances, the children turn up as workers. After rescuing them, they are provided with vocational training. Their names just figure in the attendance registrar in schools, but they will not attend classes there.

“The centres provide bridge education after which they are admitted to various classes based on their age,” he said. He wanted them exempted from the board exams.

“Most of the centres function in remote hill areas that has poor roads and the students need to travel to the nearby schools to write exams. It will be very difficult for them. Forcing them to write the exams may result in them dropping out,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 3:47:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/exempt-nclp-students-from-public-examinations-ngo/article30637012.ece

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