Hailakandi: Coinciding with the International Literacy Day, a School Chalo programme was held at Katlicherra in Hailakandi district on Sunday. At a ceremonial inauguration of School Chalo programme organized jointly by the district administration and Sarba Siksha Abhiyan at SK Roy College auditorium, 366 out-of-school children under Katlicherra education block have been mainstreamed back to formal school.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli said every child has the right to education and this right has been guaranteed by the Right to Education Act. Attributing the factors that fuelled school drop-outs, including poverty, Jalli said efforts are on to bring more out-of-school children back to formal school. Jalli said education is power and it induces a sea change in one’s life in many ways.
Citing from the exemplary life of APJ Abdul Kalam, Jalli said he rose to prominence as a scientist and later as President of India by dint of sheer hard work and perseverance. She also said that education made her what she is today.
Urging the parents to send their wards to school, Jalli said education makes them able citizens which, in turn, helps in taking the nation forward.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (Education), RK Dam said concrete plans are on to ensure that these children are not deprived of educational opportunities. “As we celebrate the achievement of mainstreaming the out-of-school children into regular schools, it motivates us to further strengthen our commitment to bring back more children into formal schools,” he pointed out.
The Right to Education Act, 2009 (RTE) provides for all governments to provide ‘special training’ for out-of-school children and puts the onus on them to mainstream them into formal schooling system at age-appropriate level.
Inspector of Schools, Rajiv Kumar Jha said while school drop-outs is a serious problem, it’s not insurmountable. “Ways and means have been formulated to check drop out-of-children from schools in rural and urban areas. A wealth of experience has accumulated in the country in terms of what works for bringing children into school.” Principal of SK Roy College, Dipak Kanti Aich stressed on the importance of education.
The Deputy Commissioner exchanged pleasantries with the children and felicitated the parents for lending support to their wards to return to schools. Katlicherra being an educationally backward block was focused for identifying the out-of-school children. All the 17 cluster resource centre coordinators were groomed jointly by the district administration and Education department to make combing operation in their respective clusters to identify these children. “Strategies have been made to induct, enrol and mainstream these children.The progress of these children will be monitored continuously, “ added Jha.
Educationists here feel that teachers’ capacities must be strengthened to support classroom learning and provide individual support to students to enable them to acquire age appropriate competencies and instill the joy of learning. “For this, there is an urgent need for the system to understand the nuances of the provision of the Right to Education Act on special training for out-of-school children, “ said a retired headmaster, adding that the system needs to ensure that all teachers are sensitised to the learning and psycho-social needs of a diverse group of children from marginalised communities. They also opine that the state government must develop and adequately fund specific strategies to check and monitor drop outs and improve implementation of special training centres for out- of-school children. “Quality and equity need to go hand in hand with enhanced quality in government schools to attract out-of-school children to return to schools that had pushed them out,” they asserted.