Jammu: A one day workshop on ‘Out of School Children’ was conducted today here at Teachers’ Bhawan by Samagra Shiksha J&K in association with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi.
Chief Education Officers, Zonal Education Officers, and representatives from the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), Juvenile Justice Board, Child Protection Committees, and Labour Commission participated in the workshop.
The core objective of the workshop was to sensitize the Educational Administrators, Planners, and Teacher Educators on mainstreaming out-of-school children into the education system.
At the outset, Project Director, Samagra Shiksha, Dr. Arun Manhas, addressed the audience and reiterated that under Samagra Shiksha, several initiatives have been taken for the identification and mainstreaming of out-of-school children. Dr. Manhas said that a mobile application ‘TALAASH’ has also been developed in collaboration with UNICEF-India, which helps to map the children who are not enrolled in mainstream education.
Dr. Manhas further revealed that a child 6-14 years of age is considered out of school if he/she has never been enrolled in an elementary school or if after enrolment has remained absent from school without prior intimation for reasons of the absence for a period of 45days. Furthermore, he added that 3 Non Residential Training Special Training Centres were established in the of J&K wherein 2765 OSC were enrolled and imparted special training by engaging 53 regular Teacher Volunteers. Out of 2765 enrolled children, 1151 children were mainstreamed so far and the process of mainstreaming the remaining OoSC children is going on. Also, approximately 23000 Bridge Course Books have been supplied to the various districts to run the Non-Residential Special Training Centers during the year 2019-20.
Later, Prof. Sunity Sanwal took a technical session on Challenges & Strategies been faced in mainstreaming the out of school children across the country. She revealed that India being a diverse country has varied educational, social and economic dimensions which often procreate a social condition wherein parents are reluctant to enroll their wards in schools. Such conditions lead to a drop in school enrolments and enhancements in the number of out of school children. She told that NCERT has developed different bridge courses to provide an opportunity for these out-of-school children.
Besides, Mudassir Ahmad, another Resource Person also spoke and apprised the gatherings about on-ground challenges been faced by educational functionaries and NGOs in the identification of school children.
A vote of thanks was presented by Vijay Kumar, Chief Education Officer Jammu.
Among others present were H. R. Pukhroo, Joint Director School Education Jammu; Surrender Kumar, Joint Director SCERT J&K; Peerzada Mushtaq Ahmad, Field Officer Samagra Shiksha; Ghulam Rasool Mir, Coordinator (Quality); Syed Fayaz Ahmad, Coordinator (Teacher Education) and other senior officers from School Education Department.