It was supposed to help connect every child to education. But a
Rajasthan government survey to prepare a database of school
dropouts in the state turned to be a damp squib as fake names of
thousands of children were mentioned.
Gross irregularities have been found in the Child Tracking Survey
(CTS) conducted by the state's education department. The
'dropouts' in the survey also included those students who never
got any education.
The fake names put the total number of dropouts in the state at a
staggering 1.2 million in the survey conducted last year. And due
to false entries, government teachers are finding it difficult to
locate dropout children to bring them back to school.
The government had started a massive drive across the state from
July 1 to bring over a million school drop-out children aged
between 6 and 14 years back to the classrooms by the end of the
The entire drive was based on the survey as teachers were to
contact the children mentioned as drop-outs in the survey records
and connect them with education.
Alarmed over 1.2 million dropouts, the Rajasthan government
directed that each government principal and teacher be given a
target of bringing back students who have dropped out.
Targets were based on the ratio of drop-out children and the
government teachers in each school.
"Recently, a team of teachers from a government school in Udaipur
district's Kelwara went to the house of Khiya Banzara of Chandalia
village considering him to be an eight-year-old boy," an education
department officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.
"But as it turned out, he was 45 years old and had a six-year-old
daughter who also had an entry in the CTS survey records as a
dropout child," the officer said.
Similarly, in Nagaur district's Kuchaman area when teachers tried
to contact a girl, she was found to be 35 years old. In survey
records, her age had been mentioned as seven years.
In the Kelwara area, about 2,900 students have been identified as
drop-outs, but the teachers have been able to locate only 750 of
Similarly, in the Hindaun City area of Karauli district, the
teachers have been able to locate only 2,000 dropout children out
of 5,000 mentioned in the CTS records.
"During physical verification, about 400 children were found to be
younger than five years and as many as about 100 children above 14
years old," the officer said.
"The survey was meant only for children aged between 6 and 14
years. Not only this, 625 children are completely untraceable. And
1,100 children who are said to be drop-outs are regularly
attending school," he added.
The irregularities in the CTS have put a question mark over
whether the state government will be able to achieve its target of
connecting every child to education.
The survey had been conducted last year by the education
department with the help of its employees.
Rajasthan's literacy rate is around 67.06 percent as against the
national average of 74.04 percent. Its female literacy rate is
around 52.66 percent.
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