Tamil Nadu

Northern districts ahead in readmitting ‘out of school children’

The northern districts took back 70,241 students out of 1,77,320, as on January 10. File

The northern districts took back 70,241 students out of 1,77,320, as on January 10. File

Northern districts of Tamil Nadu account for about 40% of 1.77 lakh children who have been brought back to the system of schooling.

In what is billed as the first of its intervention, an exercise is under way to take back those who have fallen into the category of “out of school children (OoSC).”

In the School Education Department’s initiative of readmitting the children, Tiruvallur district topped in the State with 14,526 children, followed by Chennai — 9,833 and Chengalpattu — 9,359. Totally, the northern districts, encompassing Kancheepuram, Ranipet, Vellore, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Cuddalore, took back 70,241 students out of a total of 1,77,320, as on January 10. All the children have been enrolled in age-appropriate classes from Standard I to XII. Of them, 1,02,714 are boys, 74,606 girls and the third gender, two. An official of the department hopes that the last set of 48,663 students will also be covered in a month.

The annual OoSC survey carried out five months ago covered 5,37,587 children, of whom around 2.65 lakh children were identified as non-target group, given that they were studying in institutions such as ITI and polytechnics, in addition to 10,900 children with special needs. Of the remaining 84,035 children, 35,372 were said to have migrated out of Tamil Nadu. This year’s survey was markedly different from the previous ones, as it focussed on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education of the students during the past one year.

The authorities’ job does not end with the enrollment, observes the official. As the students get acclimatised themselves with the schooling again, the idea is to provide them with more caring and enabling environment in the schools than otherwise. Efforts are also being made to ensure that the students, depending on their circumstances and requirements, are given the necessary linkage with the departments concerned for schemes and facilities. Special educators are providing support to the children with special needs in a concerted exercise across the State, the official says.

To ensure the students sustain their interest, teachers are adopting an “active approach.” Also, volunteers of the Illam Thedi Kalvi are working with the teachers at the habitation level to ensure “smooth and harmonious integration” of the children in the school.

In addition, there are focussed efforts and on-ground campaigns to strengthen the School Management Committees and village panchayats so that the children have a comfortable and enriching learning experience in schools, the official adds.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 8:26:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/northern-districts-ahead-in-readmitting-out-of-school-children/article38284313.ece