It took 17 days and a lot of flak for the state education department to realize that the July 4 survey to identify out-of-school children did not give a true picture. The education commissioner has ordered repeat of the survey and teachers will have to bear the burden again and complete the task by July 31.
In a fresh circular issued on July 21, the education department has told teachers that they have forgotten to survey children from migrant families.
Purshottam Bhapkar, education commissioner, said all the areas surveyed earlier need to be re-visited as the details for Aadhaar card registration for the out-of-school children needs to be found out.
The provisional report had put the number of out-of-school kids in the state at just around 48,000. Of which, over 18,000 were from the Mumbai region. “NGOs working for brick kiln workers, children working as labourers on sugarcane farms and stone quarries were not too happy about the survey and felt that the figures were under-reported. So we decided to conduct the same survey and incorporate more details including some of the issues raised by the NGOs,” said Bhapkar.
Educationist Heramb Kulkarni, who led the stir after the July 4 survey, said, “It is a welcome move. But the terms and conditions in the circular raise a question on how the survey will be conducted.”
However, BMC, which was in charge of the survey on July 4, is yet to receive the circular. “As of now, we have not received any circular and we do not have any information about it,” said BMC education officer Shambhavi Jogi.
Schools too are unaware about the task. Teachers are, however, unhappy with the decision. A teacher from a BMC school, who was part of the survey work, said, “We were not provided with any allowance or food during the July 4 survey. Doing it along with regular school work is impossible. Adding Aadhaar card details will be extra work too.”