Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha School and Mass Education (S&ME) department has directed Collectors to devise location specific strategy to bring students who have dropped out back to schools. 

“On analysis of the daily attendance figure provided by the District Education Officers, it is seen that about 70 per cent students are attending the classes. However, on detailed analysis the figure, it is seen that the attendance in Class-I to Class-V in case of districts like Malkangiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Sambalpur, Nuapada is less than the state average,” S&ME Principal Secretary Bishnupada Sethi stated in a letter to Collectors. 

“Similarly, in case of attendance for Class-VI to Class-VIII, the performance of districts like Malkanagiri, Boudh, Sambalpur, Nuapada is also less than the state average,” Sethi added. 

In Secondary wing too, the performance of districts like Gajapati, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Nuapada, Cuttack, Khordha, Koraput, Ganjam, Boudh, Malkanagiri, Keonjhar, Sambalpur is less than the state average. 

“The overall attendance in Higher Secondary classes is abysmally low in Gajapati, Sonepur, Baragarh, Kandhamal, Nuapada which is matter of concern,” Sethi stated his letter. 

“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,” the principal secretary said. 

Sethi said during the review meeting conducted by the S&ME department it is observed that many students passing out from Class-VIII are not taking readmission in Class-IX and they might be dropping out. 

“Special care to be taken to get them admitted at Secondary level in the nearby school. So we have to devise location specific strategy to bring back the students to the classroom,” Sethi said.

The Collectors have been asked to adopt the following strategies or any other innovative ideas to bring back dropouts 

  • A micro level survey may be conducted 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 of their absence from the school 
  • These junior teachers should also motivate the students and their parents to send their ward to the school and explaining the benefit of sending the student to school and steps taken by Government to provide free books, free uniform, MDM and scholarship to students, Bicycles etc. 
  • If required, the help of Members of SMC/ SMDC/ PRIs / WSHGs may be taken and community level activities to be initiated in this regard. 
  • The benefit of Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) must be explained at every level including the students. 

“Since the Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) is under implementation by Government to recover from the learning loss, maximum attendance of students should be ensured,” Sethi emphasized.

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