The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which is gearing up for a comprehensive survey to find the exact number of children out of school, has asked the State government to pitch in with `5 crore.
The Statewide out-of-school children (OOSC) survey is scheduled to start from November 13 and the SSA has estimated a financial requirement of `5 crore to cover 4,062 clusters across the state. A cluster is an area that has 10-15 schools. “We have asked the state government to give us about `5 crore as the survey is not a part of our annual work plan,” SSA state project director Subodh Yadav said.
For now, the SSA has about `1.2 crore left for its intervention on OOSC. “Of this, 65 per cent is the Centre’s share. We do not want to approach the Centre for the survey due to less time,” Yadav said.
The need for a fresh and comprehensive survey to determine the real number of OOSC comes in the wake of the SSA figures being questioned in the High Court. While official figures showed 51,994 OOSC, activists claimed a figure of 6.28 lakh children.
Of the 4,062, the SSA has identified 2,822 as vulnerable clusters, where there are more than 50 OOSC as per the District Information System for Education (DISE). There will be a household survey only for the vulnerable clusters by teams comprising officials from the Education Department, other allied departments and NGOs.
Yadav said figures from the DISE are not reliable as they are not meticulous. “To arrive at a figure by merely taking numbers from one year’s DISE report and comparing it with another DISE report is wrong. A child may not be enrolled in a school in one cluster, but the child may be in another school in another cluster. Anyhow, we believe the survey will give us the exact OOSC position in the state,” Yadav said.
The SSA has concluded its pilot survey at Channasandra cluster (Bangalore South) and Dibbur cluster (Chikballapur), from which the officials have found far less OOSC compared to the corresponding DISE figures.
“We can, to some analytical extent, say that it may be the case with other clusters, that there are far less OOSC than projected,” he said.