The newly formed state of India, Telangana is on an educational spree. While recently the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) announced the exam calendar for the Common Entrance Test 2017, the Education Department has put forward a four-tier comprehensive plan aligned with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) which will help the state in dealing with the rising rate of the school dropouts in Telangana.
In a recent survey, the Telangana State Education Department concluded that in the academic year 2016-17, 14,739 students dropped out of the school on upper primary and high-school level across the many districts of Telangana. The department’s steps coincide with the State Chief Minister’s promise to achieve 100 percent literacy rate.
The number of dropout students comprises a mix of boys and girls counting 7,747 & 7,092 respectively. Presenting the report, the officials of Telangana State Education Department said that though the number of the drop out students is limited, it is a tough deal to restate all these students back to schools for the reason that these students are leading their lives under different circumstances.
In an interview with a leading newspaper, an official from the Telangana State Education Department stated that the primary reasons of the students dropping out of school is the lack of income resources back in their family. While the boys usually work to offer support to their family in financial terms, girls accompany their parents for help in agricultural ventures. Some other factors leading the situations are the distance of the school from homes and child marriages.
The migration of the parents from one place to another in search of work also adds to the reasons of the dropout problem.
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has a provision to offer Non-Residential Training to those children who are in the age group of 10 to 14 years and are away from schools for a period more than a year.
Taking the problem of school back-out seriously, the State Government has proposed the four-tier program which lays ahead the foundation of Non-Residential Special Training Centres (NRSTCs), Seasonal Hotels (SHs), Work Site Hotels (WSHs), Summer camps in KGBVs and Urban Residential Schools and Hotels (URSHs) that will help in addressing various issues that leads to school dropouts.
While 22 NRSTCs are being run for a 6 months period featuring special volunteers to create age appropriated impact related to education, Seasonal Hostels are being established in Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Jogulamba, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda, and Manabubabad. These institutions are to offer boarding and lodging facilities to all students admitted.
WSHs for the migrant children from Odisha and KGBVs for girl child are also aligned with the step taken by the State Government. The same steps are being taken for the urban child in states like Hyderabad where ‘Children without Adult Protection’ (CWAP) is working towards offering shelter and education to orphans, beggars, rag pickers, etc.
The effectiveness of this program is still to be assessed but indeed it is an incredible step taken by the State Government to increase the literacy rate in the state.