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JK fails to ‘mainstream’ school dropout children

Srinagar, Feb 06: The state government has missed the target to “mainstream” 20,000 school dropout children in 2017-18.

State Coordinator Sarva Shiksha Abiyan, K G Pandit, told The Kashmir Monitor that only “over 4,000” dropout children could be “mainstreamed”.

 

The centre, he said, had identified 27,355 dropout children in the state in 2017-18.

Around 23, 355 of the children fall in the age-group of 6-14 years, he said.

“Although the number us lesser than 59,000 children identified in 2012, there has not been much success for us,” he said.

He said the final number was not clear, as it was a “very difficult task” for the districts to identify these children.

“Most of them are in the peripheral areas. We don’t have sufficient funds to engage people for enrolling them or to do a survey. Once we enrol these children, they remain with us for a week or so before dropping out again,” he said.

With the help of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Pandit said they have been successful in the districts of Budgam, Rajouri, and Leh.

Pandit said the children were enrolled at the SSA’s special training centres, where they can study as per their convenience.

“They can study at any time of the day at the centres. We have framed special syllabus for them, which is in consonance with that of the JKBOSE,” he said.

Secretary School Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah, said the enrollment to higher classes has increased while “kindergartens” have been started in the government schools.

“We have started 60 such schools in Anantnag district. We are going to open 15 kindergarten facilities in each of the remaining districts shortly,” Shah said.