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Efforts on bringing back students to schools in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: After the emergence of reports about low attendance of students in offline classes in various schools in the state, efforts are on to bring back all those students who have either dropped out, moved elsewhere with their parents, or lost interest in studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concerned over the low attendance of students in schools, School & Mass Education Department Secretary Bishnupada Sethi has written to all Collectors and District Magistrates to plan out a strategy to bring back these students.

After an analysis of daily attendance figures provided by District Education Officers, it was found that 70 percent of students were attending classes after schools reopened.

It was found that the attendance in Class 1 to 5 in districts like Malkangiri, Boudh,  Gajapati, Sambalpur, and Nuapada was found to be less than the state average. Similarly, in Class 6 to 8, the attendance in districts like Malkangiri, Boudh, Sambalpur, and Nuapada was also found to be less than the state average.

In the secondary wing,  the performance of districts like Gajapati, Bolangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Nuapada, Cuttack, Khurda, Koraput, Ganjam, Boudh, Malkangiri, Keonjhar, and Sambalpur was less than the state average. The overall attendance in higher secondary classes is abysmally low in Gajapati, Sonepur, Baragarh, Kandhamal, and Nuapada districts.

Advising Collectors and District Magistrates to come up with a strategy to bring back these students, Sethi also suggested a few strategies that could be adopted-

  •  A micro level survey may be conducted at the school level to list students not coming to school.
  • Junior teachers posted in the schools may be sent to the houses of absentee students to know the reason for their absence.
  • These junior teachers should also motivate the students and their parents to go back to school and explain the benefits of sending them to school and steps taken by the government to provide free books, free uniform, MDM and scholarships to students, bicycles, etc.
  • If required, the help of members of SMC/ SMDC/ PRIs/WSHGs may be taken and community level activities to be initiated in this regard.
  • The benefit of the Learning Recovery Plan (LRP) must be explained at every level.

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