Education ministry directs schools to collect data on out-of-school children

  • The move is an extension of the enrolment drive that aims to leave no children behind
- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Apr 28, 2019-

Amid growing concerns that mere ritualistic enrolment campaigns are not enough to urge more children to join the school system, the government has started conducting an intensive survey on out-of-school children.

The Centre for Education and Human Resource Development under the Ministry of Education Science and Technology has directed all public schools across the country to carry out the survey in collaboration with their respective municipalities or rural municipalities, and keep the record at the local level and send a copy to the federal centre.

The survey is expected to give detailed information about out-of-school children from playgroup age (2 -4 years) to school-going age (5 to 16 years).

The study will help find the economic condition of the children’s families, reasons why they have not been enrolled in schools and whether or not they have received the poverty identity card issued by the government.

The move is also aimed at finding the physical condition of the children and the occupation and the background of their parents. The study, officials said, will be useful in uncovering the actual reasons as to why students are not attending schools despite the government launching enrolment campaigns every year.

“This will be an important study as it will hopefully address students’ specific problems,” Babu Ram Poudel, director general of the Centre for Education and Human Resource Development, told the Post. After looking at the findings of the survey, he said different support schemes—based on the problems the children are facing— will be developed and employed to ensure no child is left out.

For long education experts have voiced that physically challenged children and children from extremely marginalised and poor communities are left out of the school system and that the government needs to come up with a special arrangements for them.

For instance, parents from poor communities are forced to sending their children to work in the fields instead of sending them to schools because they need the extra pair of hands. In such cases, the government needs to compensate the financial loss families suffer, or provide them better income-generating avenues, say experts.

In this way, Poudel said the survey will also be crucial in developing education policies targeting children, especially from extremely marginalised communities.

“As the need of support might vary from place to place, the centre together with the respective local governments will work together to cater to the children from such communities,” he told the Post.

According to the Education Ministry, currently 91,005 children of school-going age are out of the schools. The number of such children stood at 345,000 last year. And 254,000 of them were enrolled under the campaign last year.

Published: 28-04-2019 09:36

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