Bhubaneswar: Concerned over the absence of nearly 30 per cent of enrolled students from schools in the current academic session, the Odisha School and Mass Education department has asked district collectors to devise a strategy to bring back students who may have dropped out of schools.
School and mass education minister Samir Ranjan Dash said only 70 per cent students are attending physical classes after reopening of schools this year as per the analysis of the daily attendance figure provided by the District Education Officers. “It is seen that the attendance in Class-I to Class-V in case of districts like Malkangiri, Boudh, Gajapati, Sambalpur, Nuapada is less than the state average. In the Secondary Wing, performance of districts like Gajapati, Balangir, Bargarh, Sonepur, Nuapada, Cuttack, Khordha, Koraput, Ganjam, Boudh, Malkangiri, Keonjhar, Sambalpur is less than the state average. The overall attendance of Higher Secondary classes is abysmally low in Gajapati, Sonepur, Baragarh, Kandhamal and Nuapada districts, which is a matter of concern,” said the minister.
With 60 lakh students enrolled in classes 1-12, the department estimates that 18 lakh have remained absent in the current academic session. During review meetings conducted by the department, it has been observed that many students passing out from Class-VIII are not taking readmission in Class-IX and they might be dropping out, the minister said.
“As part of the strategy, the department will engage teachers, sarpanches or School Management and Development Committee presidents and women Self Help Group members for a micro-level survey to be conducted to list the dropout students. The teachers may also visit houses of the dropouts and discuss with their parents to know the reason for their absence from the school,” said the minister.
The absence of over 30 per cent students from classrooms came amid reports of 43000 students bunking the annual high school certificate examination this year. Though 5.71 lakh students had filled up forms for the examination being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, around 5.3 lakh actually wrote the exam which began on April 29 in 3,540 centres. After the examination ended on Saturday, the government found that 43,489 candidates had not appeared. The absenteeism was more marked in districts like Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, and Bolangir.