JK has 27,355 out-of-school children

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In yet another shocker from the school education department, the J&K state has around 27,355 Out of School Children (OSC), throwing a major challenge for the government to enroll the students in schools.
Given the huge number of OSC, the union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has expressed its displeasure over the state government’s failure to address to the issue and decrease the number of OSC in the state.
The union ministry raised this issue in the recent Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting convened in New Delhi to review the performance of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in J&K state.
As per the minutes of the meeting, the union ministry has expressed its displeasure over the J&K government’s failure to mainstream the OSC during the year 2016-17.
"Against the commitment of mainstreaming 32755 OSC in age appropriate classes in 2016-17, J&K state has mainstreamed zero children," read the minutes of the meeting.
Meanwhile, the state representatives who attended the meeting have stated that out of total OSC 10942 will be enrolled during 2017-18.
The union ministry has also expressed its concern over the increasing number of Zero Enrollment schools which include 562 primary and 154 Upper Primary Schools (UPS).
"There are 1733 (13%) government primary schools functioning with single teacher. Rationalization of teacher in JK government schools is required so that the figure of primary schools with single teacher is reduced," read the minutes of the meeting.
As per the minutes, the JK’s school education department has shown no progress to reduce the drop-out rate in government schools.
"State had committed to reduce dropout rate to 5.5 at primary and 4.5 at upper primary level. But State has shared no progress in this regard," read the minutes of the meeting.
MHRD has asked the state government to undertake the “Partnership Between Schools” Programme to link schools located in rural areas with private, aided or government schools in urban or semi urban areas.
"This would help in bringing all students to one common platform and to share experiences and learn from each other. It will be a move to work on increasing enrolment and arresting drop out at elementary level, especially in government schools," read the minutes.
The union MHRD has also raised query over 7208 posts of teachers-5014 under state and 2194 under SSA, vacant in the State.
"There are 11748 untrained teachers in the State which is an issue of concern. State should provide requisite training to these teachers at the earliest."
The union ministry in the PAB meeting has expressed concern over the findings of National Achievement Survey (NAS) wherein it was observed that the number of class 5th students with more than 50 percent marks in language was declined to 35 percent and in Maths it was reduced to 46 percent.

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