The state government will now use ‘selfie’ as a tool to control school dropout rates in Maharashtra. The state school education department has issued a Government Resolution (GR) Thursday asking school teachers to click selfies with students to keep a check on rising number of dropouts across the state.
Aimed at recording data of absent and irregular students, the GR will be implemented from January 2017.
According to the GR dated November 3, class teachers are expected to click a selfie with a group of 10 students each on first two Mondays of every month.
The same should be then uploaded to the database Systematic Administrative Reforms for Achieving Learning by Students (SARAL) along with names and Aadhaar card numbers of each students.
The initiative, officials say, would help them determine the number of students regular, irregular and absent and help them plan their course of action to track and get these students back to school.
Following the directives from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the state government had last year conducted surveys to track dropouts and Out of School Students (OoSS).
As per the state education department’s analysis and data of standard wise enrolment of two years (2013-14 and 2014-15) 3.87 lakh children have dropped out of schools.
Meanwhile, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2014 states that dropout rate in Maharashtra has been around 9 per cent, against 15 per cent across the nation.
To keep a check on dropouts, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government had put in practice the unique child tracking system, using the Aadhaar identification number of all students in the age group of 6-14 years.
SARAL – a database for collating data on students, teachers and schools in the state was implemented last year.
However, now schools have been asked to upload selfies of teachers with students on the database.
According to the GR, the school Education department has identified factors due to which students drop out. “The two major factors leading to dropouts are when families migrate within or out of state and when families shift base to Maharashtra from other states. In both cases students drop out,” said Principal Secretary of School Education, Nand Kumar.
The GR stated that “Parents who shift base within the state have been asked to make alternate arrangements for their schoolgoing children so that they do not lose track. The children can stay with their relatives, grand-parents or in temporary hostels.”
“In cases where students have to move with their parents, the schools should issue an Education Guarantee Card (EGC) to them. It can be sent to the school administration through WhatsApp, email etc. wherever the student shifts,” the GR further stated.