Out of School Children and Enrollment Drives

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By: Gh. Hassan Bhat

Enrollment drives, a decisive step undertaken by education department from last several years has a rejuvenating impact over the govt. run schools across UT of JK. This year, the Director School Education, Kashmir, formally kick started the programme from the Handwara District on November 11th and since then over sixty five thousand (65) new admissions have been done including thousands of transferred students from different private institutions and the process is still ongoing with much intensity with the mass participation of Director School Edu. Kashmir, CEOs, Principals, ZEOs, DRGs, ZRGs and teaching fraternity.

Enrollment drives seem to be a much wider concept derived mainly to enhance student roll, to register different drops out students, to mainstream ‘Out of School Children’, to create awareness about NEP 2020 & RTE etc. However it has other far reaching advantages and is a public outreach program to aware and mobilizes public at large. Besides, it appraises masses about different facilities being offered in govt. institutions in current scenario. It obliterates mistrust between govt. and public and bridges the gap between parents and teachers.

Indeed this campaign is very exigent for ‘Out of School Children’ – those who have never attended school due to umpteen reasons including poverty, inaccessibility of educational institutions, illness, different disabilities, working at domestic level and several other issues. Covid-19 further worsened the graph across the globe.

Out of School Children are mainly employed as child labors working in very arduous tasks across the country. Who knows what is happening with them?  Under what circumstances they might be living, what they think about education? if they seriously wish to get education. They too are our kith and kins, also our tomorrow’s future. Who knows among them are miracles hidden which need special focus to locate.

Enrollment drives has serious challenge to mainstream the said OSC and Dropout lot into school fold. The RTE (2009) grants free and compulsory education to all age group of (6-14). There lies huge onus on part of govt, edu. dept and especially teachers working down the line to undertake serious measures to bring all OSC back to school curriculum. This is not easy but not difficult.

Education dept has already taken several initiatives like TALASH for identification and mainstreaming the Out of School Children at large scale. Here an Enrollment drive has a lot to offer which link you to people of diverse thoughts. This door to door initiative is the real locator of these OSC and Dropouts students.

I being one of the participants of this mission felt delighted to jot down the episode of students at one remotest village of Namblinar Tangmarg. It was astounding movement for all of us to enroll such students there, a joy over their faces was extremely enough that the whole environment was filled with blessing and peace. A fondle to them was worth watching.

OSC are really a challenge for all of us. These children are actually a lot excluded from teaching learning process. This is the poorest section needed to be guided.  They need special attention, love and sympathy. A lot has been done but there is still much work to be done.  Enrollment drives can do this job. Infact the best medicine to streamline the process by building a balance and educated society by implementing the basic laws of education. So let’s pledge all and give a slogan to enroll last child and to make the change in their lives.

“Let’s remember: one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world”

The writer is a Govt Teacher (Resource Person), Zone Tangmarg Baramulla.

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