Published: 14th May 2022
Why did 30 per cent of Odisha students not come back to school?
Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) is being executed by the government to help students recover from learning loss, says Schools Education Department Secretary
With the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools were shut for a long time and now, they are resuming offline teaching after a gap of two years. The Odisha government, which had begun offline classes, observed that around 30 per cent of the students were not returning back to school.
In a letter to the districts, School and Mass Education Department Secretary, BP Sethi, stated that after analysing the daily attendance data from the schools as provided by the District Education Officers (DEOs), it was noted that around 70 per cent of students are attending the classes, as stated in a report by PTI.
Additionally, a detailed analysis showed that the attendance in Classes I to V districts namely, Malkanagiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Sambalpur and Nuapada, was less than the state average, he said. The performance of these districts mentioned is also poor in case of attendance in Classes VI to VIII, he added.
Sethi mentioned that in the secondary section, attendance in schools in Gajapati, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Nuapada, Cuttack, Khordha, Koraput, Ganjam, Boudh, Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Sambalpur is less than the state average. The overall attendance in higher secondary classes is abysmally low in Gajapati, Sonepur, Baragarh, Kandhamal and Nuapada, which is a matter of concern, he added.
"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 noted, as stated in a report by PTI.
An analysis calculated by the School and Mass Education Department figured that many students passing out of Class VIII were not taking admission in Class IX.
"We have to devise a location-specific strategy to bring back the students to the classroom," Sethi told the district collectors.
Sethi asked the district collectors to conduct a survey to list out the whereabouts of absentees in an attempt to bring them back.
"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," he said.
Instructing the teachers on how to convince the students, Sethi suggested that, "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 (mid-day meals) and scholarships to students."
Panchayat members and woman self-help groups can also be roped in for the exercise, Sethi said.
Sethi informed that a Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) is under implementation by the government in order to help students recover from the learning loss, maximum attendance of students should be ensured.