Door-to-door survey of out-of-school children to begin from December 19 in Tamil Nadu

Last year the department introduced a mobile app for this survey and changes have been made this year to it based on responses from stakeholders
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Express
Image for representational purpose only | Pic: Express

The School Education Department in coordination with various other departments of Tamil Nadu will conduct door-to-door out-of-school children survey from December 19, 2022 to January 11, 2023. Through the survey, children between 6 and 18 years who have dropped out of school and have enrolled in schools will be traced and sent to special training centres functioning under the integrated school education department. Officials said that special attention will be given to differently-abled children and children of intra and inter-state migrant labourers, as reported by The New Indian Express

Block Resource Teacher Educators, headmasters, teachers, Anganwadi workers, activists, special educators, physiotherapists, school management committee (SMC) members along with the labour department and social defence, among others, will carry out the survey. Last year, the department also introduced a mobile app for taking this survey and changes have been made to it based on the responses received from various stakeholders.

As per the GO (Government Order) issued in 2017, students who have not attended school for 30 continuous working days will be considered dropouts and those who are irregular will be considered potential dropouts. These children will be tracked and will be provided special training so that they attend school regularly. 

This apart, the survey will also concentrate on potential dropouts. The school education department is considering students who have not attended school for 15 days continuously as potential dropouts and is tracking them with help of school headmasters and other district officials. Their data taken from the common pool of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) will also be used during the survey stated the The New Indian Express report.

Meeting ahead of the survey
Ahead of the survey, the chief educational officers in all districts have been asked to conduct a meeting with officials in the district child protection unit, police and labour department plus child line executives. With their input, a list of unchecked habitations, industrial areas, slum areas and habitations in hilly areas will be taken up. The list will also be checked with the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), district differently-abled welfare office, health, labour and police departments, plus respective local bodies as well. 

Following this, a pre-planning meeting headed by the district collector will be held. Then, all the habitations in the block level will be uploaded in the survey application and staff will be equally distributed to carry out the survey. SMC members will be asked to ensure that awareness is created in their neighbourhood regarding the survey. NGOs working for the welfare of children and self-help groups will also be involved in the survey. The officials will also collect details of students who lost one or both of their parents to COVID-19.

According to school education department officials, there are more than 80,000 children dropouts in the state. Due to the migration of workers within districts, it has become difficult to track these children and bring them back to school even though efforts are being taken. The department will try to ensure coordination between district officials this time, they added.

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