Even after being repeatedly admitted to schools, at least five percent of students who drop out do not return to school, say Block Resource Teacher Educators (BRTE), urging the Department of state school education to find a solution to solve the problem permanently. An Android mobile app to track these school children could help solve the problem, they said.
According to a BRTE worker, “A survey is conducted every year in November and April by the School Education Department under Samagra Shiksha to track students admitted to schools under the RTE Act.”
“As an example, in 2018, on average, 1,800 pupils were admitted to local schools under RTE during the November survey. Before the next survey in April 2019, at least 100 pupils would have dropped out of the school due to various reasons such as lack of parental care and financial problems. During the survey in April, we had to re-admit the same students to the schools again,” she said. .
“To avoid this, if the Education Department designs the Android app adding options such as uploading details and education activities of students absent for at least 15 days, BRTEs can easily contact students and can take steps to get them back to school immediately and don’t have to wait three to four months for the next survey cycle. Students can also continue their education without interruption,” he said.
On March 8, Tamil Nadu Resource Block Teacher Educators Association submitted a petition to Samagra Shiksha Project Director, R Sudhan regarding the need for an application.
According to the head of the BRTE association, C Annamalai, “At least 2,000 students had dropped out of school during the pandemic in Coimbatore alone. Along with the application, there must be exclusive committees to track students at the district level”.
Asked about the proposal, Director of Education N Geetha told TNIE: “We have asked principals to track students if they take leave for more than 10 days. Some teachers, too, regularly monitor the students.