Contradicting its own claims that the drop-out rate in the state has been minimised, attributing to the enrollment drives like Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, the state Education Department in its latest notification has stated that the drop-out rate is over 20 per cent in half of the state, while announcing that the first time drop-outs will be re-admitted to schools during the Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, this year.
Identifying 121 talukas, out of total nearly 250 in the state, where the drop-out rate between Class VIII and IX is more than 20 per cent, the education department in its notification has directed officers to hold Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani in secondary schools between June 14 and 15 in the rural areas and June 22 and 23 in urban centres. For the first time, the two enrollment drives, will not be held in primary schools.
Moreover, the evaluation of students on the basis of their answer-sheets of final examinations that was started in 2016 has been dropped this year.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, “Since the drop-outs are more from upper primary to secondary classes (Class VIII to IX), the focus this year is on this category of students. Though poor quality schools would also be covered during the enrolment drive, but efforts would be to narrow the
drop-out ratio of students in higher classes.”
In previous years, the enrollment drive focussed on the lowest Grade C and D schools, as rated by the annual evaluation exercise of Gunotsav.
Also, unlike previous years, when the ministers and bureaucrats usually chose the schools or districts they wanted to visit on their own as per their ‘convenience’, the schedule is prepared keeping these 121 talukas in mind.
The directive stated, “All those students in the age group of 6-14 years who have dropped out of the school are to be re-admitted in schools. The details of such students who have dropped out of school will be provided by the Cluster Resource Centre (CRC) co-ordinators.”