Saturday, March 30, 2013

Theni collector looks into progress of school dropouts

Theni collector looks into progress of school dropouts

Padmini Sivarajah, TNN Jul 12, 2012, 01.55AM IST

MADURAI: School dropouts who were enrolled in Theni district under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) are being invited for a meeting with the Theni district collector Dr K S Palanisamy, who wants to ensure that they continue their education without any hurdles.
Fifteen students from the RC school in Theni, including fifth standard student Selvameenal, who was identified by SSA members and enrolled back in school this year after she dropped out of school in the third standard, second standard student Jagadeeswaran and fifth standard student Divya interacted with the collector on Monday, telling him about their difficulties and future goals. Selvameenal told the collector that she was forced to drop out after her father deserted their family. But the little girl expressed her eagerness to study.

Chief Education Officer M Ravichandran said the district had been allotted Rs 29.09 crore under the SSA for the year 2012 - 2013. The SSA staff conducted a survey in the month of April and May this year, identifying 525 dropouts and other children above the age of five who were not attending school. They were then enrolled in the five residential and 15 non-residential SSA schools in the district. The dropout rate had been higher with 625 children identified last year.
Sources at the SSA said that most children who had dropped out of school, came from broken families. Some were also orphans like Sahul Hameed, who has now been enrolled in a school with a hostel, where he is pursuing his fourth standard.
The SSA also caters to special education of physically and mentally challenged children through its resource centres which are equipped with therapies like physiotherapy to help them become self reliant. "The SSA is not just for the normal kids, it is a means for educating children from various sections of the society," said SSA members. Theni district has four day care centres for special children in Theni, Cumbum, Periyakulam and Uthamapalayam, where children are ferried by auto rickshaws from their homes to the centres for a day of special care.
The Theni district collector said he would like to interact with all the children identified and enrolled back in school to study their progress. He has also asked officials to ensure that the bright students are brought into mainstream schools and that the rest are made to reach this mark as well.

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