Srinagar: The students who have dropped out of schools in Kashmir division have to be readmitted, according to the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
Jammu and Kashmir schools recorded nearly 8 percent drop-out rate during 2018-19 academic year even as several centrally sponsored education schemes including Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan are in place in the erstwhile state.
In Kashmir around 9 lakh students are enrolled in the government as well as private institutions and out of which at least 50,000 students have left school mid-way due to various reasons.
An official at the education department said that the main reasons for students dropping out in Kashmir is poor infrastructure in schools, lack of water facilities and separate lavatory for girls.
According to the new education policy 2020, the latest national data of school dropouts reveals that the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER ) for Grades 6-8 was 90.7%, while for Grades 9-10 and 11-12, it was only 79.3% and 51.3%, respectively – indicating that a significant proportion of enrolled students begin to drop out after Grade 5 and especially after Grade 8.
“It must be a top priority of the country to bring these children back into the educational fold as early as possible, and to prevent further students from dropping out, with a goal to achieve 100% Gross Enrolment Ratio in pre-school through secondary school by 2035,” says the NEP 2020.
The Policy aims at alternative and innovative education mechanisms and systems to be put in place to ensure that children who are dropped out of school are brought back into mainstream education.
Director, School Education Kashmir, Dr Younis Malik said: “We have already put in place measures for bringing back children who have dropped out of studies. After identifying elementary and middle school dropout students, we provide them bridge courses for a period of time to examine their level of knowledge and accordingly place them in the classes.”
He said that those dropout students who have crossed age limit are trained under skill development and vocational courses.
“We have a target to identify around 15000 drops out and provide them with skill development courses so that they will be capable of earning their livelihood. Presently we have identified around 1000 youth in Srinagar for skill development and vocational courses,” he said.