Baramulla, Dec 22: Amid the challenges of school dropouts, the Baramulla district administration has started a new initiative named Noor to improve the retention rate and transition of school children.
The initiative has been taken as part of the Aspirational District Programme. The initiative was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar.
An official said the NITI Aayog reviews the progress of the initiative by adopting certain indicators including the retention rate of the students during their transition from primary to middle standard or from middle to secondary classes.
“Under this initiative we conduct door to door surveys to collect the data of child population at zone and village level. The child population gets digitised and is compared with the population of students in schools,” an official, dealing with the initiative, told Greater Kashmir.
An official communication issued by Chief Education (CEO) Baramulla has stressed on the progress made in the door-to-door survey under Aspirational District Programme.
“In phase-II of the approved plan this office shall undertake random cross check at 110 identified locations through the cluster heads to ascertain the completion of the survey,” the official communication reads.
The Zonal Education Officers have been asked to furnish a "No Left Out Certificate" certifying that all households within their jurisdictions have been duly surveyed.
Under the Noor Programme around 1998 teaching officials have been imparted training and sensitised with regard to the objectives of door- to-door survey, OOSC Education and the features of Right to Education (RTE) Act.
The district education authorities in Baramulla have also trained the teachers on improving transition rate from Primary to Upper Primary and from Upper Primary to Secondary level to trace Out of School Children (OoSC).
An official said the Noor programme has certain indicators on the basis of which the department calculates Gross Enrollment ratio (GER) and Net Enrollment Ratio (NER) through the number of school dropouts and OoSC children.
“Once we do the survey of child population in any area, we calculate how many of them are in schools and we also ascertain the number of school drop outs and OoSc and the reasons why they left the studies,” the official said.
He said as per latest guidelines, any student who remains absent for 45 days from school is considered as OoSC.
“Earlier we did not have any record of school drop outs or OoSc but the launch of Noor programme enabled us to carry out a survey of child population which identifies OoSc and ascertains whether the retention rate and transition rate has improved in schools or not,” the official said.