Bringing in a major change this time, the Gujarat education department has decided to focus on the ‘lowest grade’ schools along with maximum dropout rates during the six-day state-wide annual enrolment drive — Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani. The drive is scheduled in two phases — June 11, 12 and 13 for rural areas followed by June 18, 19 and 20 for schools in urban areas.
This year, the department has planned to restrict the freedom from the senior most officials and ministers to choose the talukas or districts to be visited during this drive on their own. Linking the annual evaluation exercise, Gunotsav, of all government schools with the enrolment drive — Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, the department has listed out the lowest grade schools (grade C and D) rated under Gunotsav which would be assigned to the senior most ministers and officials, irrespective of the department or area they are posted in.
“As per the list prepared, out of a total of more than 33,500 government primary schools in Gujarat, more than 3,000 have been listed with the lowest grades. The target, this time would be these over 3,000 schools as their responsibility is to be assigned to the senior most officials,” revealed a senior official of the education department.
Also, the aim this time would be to ensure 100 per cent enrollment from the anganwadi centres to government schools in Class I. All efforts would be made to ensure no child from anganwadi centres get enrolled to a private school. A state-wide survey of anganwadi and school going children is already in the process by the Gujarat State Primary School Teachers’ Association.
Another challenge for the education department is to reduce the drop-out from Class VIII to Class IX, where maximum students drop out of school either due to non-availability of secondary classes in the existing school. This results in to commute to other villages resulting in a major percentage of girl students to drop out. To cover this gap, the department has planned confidence-building measures through meetings with parents and community leaders.
These decisions were taken during the recently held video conference meeting of the education department. An estimated total force of 1,500 are to be working for the enrollment drive. In addition to these, social and non-government organisations like yuvak and mahila mandals would be roped in.
The official further added, unlike each year when the ministers and bureaucrats usually choose the schools or districts they want to visit on their own, this time schools to be visited would be given to them. These would be the lowest grade schools evaluated under Gunotsav and the talukas where the drop-out rates are the maximum.
The stress of the drive that was launched by then chief minister Narendra Modi in 2003 aiming at 100 per cent student enrolment and girls’ education would be on a team of over 300 ministers headed by the chief minister, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Forest Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers who will embark on a six-day visit to identified rural and urban areas.
Accompanying them would be all District Education Officers, District Primary Education Officers (DPEO), co-ordinators of Cluster Resource Centre (CRC) and Block Resource Centres (BRC).