Updated: March 4, 2021 8:45:00 am
The first exercise to map ‘out of school students’ in the state, which started on March 1, has revealed some alarming numbers in Pune. So far, in the 82,310 households surveyed in the city, 640 children have been found to be out of the school system completely. These students, aged between 6 and 14 years, are neither enrolled in any city school nor are they attending online classes in any form.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out last year, one of the biggest concerns has been that students, especially those from economically weaker sections and migrant populations, will drop out of the education system due to the shutdown of schools and hostels. With their parents struggling to earn a livelihood, the concern is that many underage students may even be put to work to supplement family incomes.
A state-wide survey on students of school-going age, which started in Maharashtra on March 1, is going door-to-door in every district. In Pune city, over 3,500 teachers are engaged in the task.
Suresh Jagtap, additional municipal commissioner of PMC, said initial reports found that 640 students were out of school, 30 students from Pune city had migrated elsewhere with their families while 97 students from outside Pune have migrated into the city with their families.
“This is the initial figure… it will rise since the survey will continue till March 10. However, it may be a representative figure since we have asked our teachers not to go into housing societies or areas where Covid-19 cases are high. Maybe later, once cases are fewer, we will survey those areas as well,” he said.
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