Odisha To Bring Back School Drop-Outs To Classrooms

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has devised a strategy to bring back the students who have dropped out of the schools due to non-continuance of teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic and many other reasons.

In a letter to all Collectors, School & Mass Education Department Secretary Bishnupada Sethi stated that two years of academic activities have been lost due to the pandemic situation arising out of COVID-19.

After normalcy was restored, steps were taken by Government to reopen the schools and the Department is also monitoring the school attendance figure (Block wise) which is being uploaded by the respective Collector’s office in the prescribed tracker.

On analysis of the daily attendance figure provided by the District Education Officers, it is seen that about 70% of students are attending the classes.

However, on detailed analysis of the figure, it is seen that the attendance in Class-I to Class-V in the case of districts like Malkanagiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Sambalpur, and Nuapada is less than the State Average.

Similarly, in the case of attendance for Class-VI to Class-VIII, the performance of districts like Malkanagiri, Boudh, Sambalpur, and Nuapada is also less than the State Average.

In the Secondary Wing, 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, and Nuapada which is a matter of concern.

“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,” said Sethi.

He informed that in course of a Review Meeting conducted by the Department, it was 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,” he added.

Sethi asked the Collectors to adopt the following strategies and to share any if other innovative ideas are adopted;

1. A micro level survey may be conducted at the school level to list out the students who are not coming to school.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. If required, the help of Members of SMC/ SMDC/ PRIs / WSHGs may be taken and community level activities to be initiated in this regard.
5. 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, said Sethi.