NGOs lend a helping hand to out-of-school kids
Pune: With a lot riding on education, the prime concern across India is to spread education as far and as wide as possible. However, we still face an issue of school dropouts on a large scale. System Correcting Movement (Syscom) along with other activists and NGOs, to bring this to the notice of the government and authorities, submitted a letter to the Education Minister, Vinod Tawde, on October 12, outlining a proactive plan to help these out-of-school kids.
According to the 2011 census, there are around 8 crore children that are out of school. Flaws were detected in the previously conducted surveys and a need to perform an authentic survey was conveyed in the letter given to the Education Minister. Surveys conducted by the state brought forth a large number of children that were out of school and the Government took action to bring a drop in the number. However, in spite of their names being in the roll call list, there are a lot of students that have dropped out.
Syscom president, Rajendra Dharankar said, “We want education extension officers to conduct surprise visits to schools not under their jurisdiction for a more authentic survey.” They are also demanding that a check be performed on how many of the students have really appeared for the tests conducted by the Government.
A meeting was held on October 12 of all the NGOs where it came to the forefront that students of the Vimukta Jati Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) were the highest in the dropout list. To this, Rajendra Dharankar said, “The government can send such children to the nearest ashramshala and their families can be made aware of the importance of education.”
Many social causes were the reason for the dropouts, child marriage being the prime one. Syscom has requested for an awareness programme, of the highest intensity, against child marriage.
It was stated in the letter that kids of seasonal workers (around 20 lakh of them), involved in sugarcane cutting or brick kiln activities, were the most affected of the lot. Better educational and residential facilities were also requested for them.
Since there is a lot of work that needs to be put in to get these changes implemented, Syscom and the other 15 NGOs and activists came up with a 10 point agenda after the October 12 meeting, that will assist the Government to address this issue of out-of-school children.