Gov’t to check on students who give quarterly exams a miss-

The school education department is planning to scrutinise government schools where students of Classes X-XII have not attended examinations and also take steps to bring them back to school. This will help to minimise the number of students who fail to attend the final examinations due to various reasons including fear, said officials, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.

At present, government schools across the state send periodical reports to the respective chief educational offices if a student is absent for more than three days. This is then sent to the respective district collectorate and students are traced with the help of teachers. This data is also entered into the Education Information Management System (EMIS).

However, teachers said there are several problems in this process. “Despite continuous insistence, many students still remain erratic. Moreover, inter-district migration of parents for employment complicates efforts to trace them,” said a teacher from Erode district.

Flashback from last year…
Last year, the department came under criticism after reports that more than 50,000 in Class XII did not attend the language examination. Officials said that this was because students who didn’t attend school regularly were part of the nominal roll for the final examinations.

Although the number of students who didn’t attend the examinations will reduce if the department follows strict rules with respect to attendance, the number of students who remain out of the school system will still remain a concern.

Another problem with EMIS is that there is no way to find out if a student has joined a polytechnic or Indian Technical Institute (ITI) after Class X as the database only covers schools across the state. If a student pursues these options, he still remains in the EMIS database for the next two years, added officials.

A solution, perhaps?
One possible way to track these students is through the public distribution system, said A Ramu, President of the Directly Recruited Post Graduate Teachers Association. “This will also prove effective in cases of inter-district migration as most of the parents would continue to access essential commodities,” he said.

“The department should also extend the database of students to colleges along with the higher education department. District-level committees should also be formed to trace students who drop out of school and address their problems. Unless these steps are taken, the out-of-school surveys and periodical efforts to trace the students would remain ineffective,” he said.

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