Bhubaneswar: Expressing serious concern over absence of around 30 per cent students in schools, School & Mass Education (S&ME) Department Principal Secretary Bishnupada Sethi has asked all District Collectors to implement strategies to bring back the drop-out students to the mainstream.
Writing a letter to the Collectors, Mr.Sethi said, “We have already lost two years of academic activities due to the pandemic situation arising out of Covid-19.”
After normalcy was restored, steps were taken by the Government to reopen the schools and due to the heat wave situation, at present the classes are running from 6 AM to 9 PM with cooked MDM food being supplied to eligible beneficiaries (from Class-I to VIII).
The S&ME Department is also monitoring the school attendance figure (Block-wise) which is being uploaded by District Administrations.
On analysis of the daily attendance figure provided by the District Education Officers (DEOs), it is seen that about 70 per cent students are attending the classes, Mr.Sethi pointed out.
However, on detailed analysis of the figure, it is seen that the attendance in Class-I to V in case of districts like Malkanagiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Sambalpur, Nuapada is less than the State average.
Similarly, in case of attendance for Class-VI to VIII, the performance of districts like Malkanagiri, Boudh, Sambalpur, Nuapada is also less than the State average, he said.
In Secondary wing, the performance of districts like Gajapati, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Nuapada, Cuttack, Khordha, Koraput, Ganjam, Boudh, Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Sambalpur is less than the State average.
Moreover, the overall attendance in Higher Secondary classes is abysmally low in Gajapati, Sonepur, Baragarh, Kandhamal, Nuapada which is a matter of concern, Mr.Sethi told the Collectors.
“The above figures lead us to believe that thorough analysis has to be made to know the whereabouts of the absentee students. It may so happen these students who are not attending the offline classes might have dropped-out/ moved out along with their parents/ lost interest in academic activities due to non-continuance of the teaching schedule due to the pandemic situation and many other reasons, which need analysis,” he further pointed out.
During a review meeting, the S&ME Department observed that many students passing out from Class-VIII are not taking readmission in Class-IX and they might be dropping out.
So, the Collectors are asked to take special care to get them admitted at secondary-level in the nearby school. “So, we have to devise a location specific strategy to bring back the students to the class room,” said the Principal Secretary.
The Department has prepared a strategy which needs to be adopted for bringing back the absent students.
Sethi asked to conduct a micro-level survey at the school-level to list out the students who are not coming to school.
“The junior teachers who are posted in schools may be sent to the houses of the absentee students to know the reason for their absence from the school. These junior teachers should also motivate the students and their parents to send their ward to the school and explain the benefit of sending the student to school and steps taken by the Government to provide free books, free uniform, MDM and scholarship to students, bicycles etc,” he said.
If required, take the help of Members of SMC/ SMDC/ PRIs / WSHGs in this regard. The benefit of the Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) must be explained at every level including the students.
“Since the Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) is under implementation by the Government to recover from the learning loss, maximum attendance of students should be ensured,” he told the Collectors.