Published: 27th February 2020
Panchayat members should closely monitor students' attendance in schools, directs RDPR
If a student is found to be away from school for long, the members will have to visit his/her home to check the reason behind the absence and bring it to the attention of concerned officials
Starting next academic year, panchayat members will be taking on the duty of monitoring the academic performance of children in villages through the year. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department has given them guidelines with instructions to visit schools every month and check on students’ progress.
If a student is found to be away from school for long, members will have to visit his/her home to check the reason behind the absence. They must also find out if the child is being made to work, has been married off or has relocated, and bring this to the attention of concerned officials. Depending on the situation, the panchayat members will speak to the parents and convince them to send back their children back to school.
According to a joint circular issued by Principal Secretary (Department of Public Instruction) SR Umashankar and Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Uma Mahadevan, every child between the ages of six and 14 must be enrolled in school under the Constitution. As per the Karnataka Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education, the GP has to act like a Grama Shikshana Register. The High Court in its order has also instructed that the responsibility of carrying out these door-to-door surveys shall be given to local authorities, and cannot be delegated to teachers.
While conducting the surveys, in case students are found to have left their studies entirely, a registration number must be noted so as to identify the child and bring him/her back to school, the order reads. The panchayat members will regularly meet members of women’s self-help groups and anganwadi and Asha workers to discuss the issue of school dropouts.