South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s recently launched ‘Neev’ project has enabled over 12,000 children to enter formal school. The campaign was launched over the summer vacation and approximately 4,500 teachers went door-to-door in South Delhi to enroll children into schools, officials said.
According to Ashish Sood, chairman of the education committee, there are approximately 45,000 children living in the city’s slums and resettlement colonies (across the four zones) who do not go to school as many contribute to the family income, or help at home. The civic body is also considering using mobile technology to educate children who cannot attend classes due to familial obligations.
“We had launched the scheme with a focus on educating girls…In the next three years, we hope to enroll every child in the area in a formal school,” Sood said.
The chairman also said that among the students who enrolled, at least 60 per cent had already joined schools. However, the bigger challenge for the corporation is to retain these students in schools. For this, the corporation is roping in NGOs and corporates, to help reduce drop out rates.
“We are also considering asking companies to utilise their funds on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and help improve infrastructure in schools. Currently, there are at least 11 NGOs aiding us in retaining children in schools,” the chairman said.
He added that the funds from corporates will be utilised to provide students a clean environment along with drinking water facilities and smart classrooms. “Until now, the NGOs who we work with gave us their own projects. Now we will ask them to develop projects for us, based on our needs.” Along with these measures, at least 50 councillors will be employed in schools within the month to help students.
“Neev” has been the first project of its kind, as the civic body has collaborated with the Directorate of Education in the project’s implementation. School inspectors have also been asked to keep a check on schools, to make sure that those enrolled are attending classes regularly.