CHENNAI: In a first, the State Tribal Welfare Department has asked headmasters/headmistresses (HMs) of their residential higher secondary schools to keep track of students, especially girls, who passed out this academic year and ensure that they take admission in a college of their choice. The HMs should report the admission status of the students at a review meeting on August 12.
“Once the HMs report the admission status, we are planning to form a team that will reach out to the families of the girl students who have not enrolled for undergraduate courses and give them necessary guidance,” a senior official of the department said.
This year, 1,618 students appeared for Class 12 board exams from 320 schools run by the department. Of these, 1,450 students passed. After the exams ended, the HMs were told to record the phone numbers of parents, their addresses, and what courses the students were interested in. “In many cases, the main reasons for lack of enrolment in undergraduate courses seem to be marriages and a lack of awareness about opportunities,” the official added.
The tribal welfare department ran only two college hostels (one in The Nilgiris and the other at Chromepet in Chennai) with a capacity to accommodate 50 students each, but it coordinated with Adi Dravidar welfare department to accommodate their students in the latter’s hostels, the official said. The Adi Dravidar welfare department runs 145 hostels for college students across TN, of which 67 are for boys and 78 for girls.
According to sources, the tribal welfare department has taken steps to increase its accommodation facilities for college students by building four more hostels — one each in Tiruchy, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, and Tirupattur — to be able to accommodate 400 more students.