Jammu : The district administration in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar has received the SKOCH gold award for its efforts in mainstreaming out-of-school children and bringing them back to school. The award is a recognition of the district's remarkable accomplishment, an official said on Sunday.
This is the second award for the Union territory after the Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) won the SKOCH award earlier this year, the official said. He said Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Devansh Yadav, accompanied by Chief Education Officer Prahlad Bhagat and senior lecturer at District Institute of Education & Training (DIET) Riaz Ahmed Butt, received the award at New Delhi on Saturday.
Kishtwar administration received the award for mainstreaming around 2,000 out-of-school' children (OoSC) identified by the Directorate of Samagra Shiksha, Jammu and Kashmir through an app launched in March 2021. The aim of Samagra Shiksha was to enumerate and keep track of OoSC in a timely and qualitative manner, through intensive data analysis and monitoring.
After identifying the OoSC, the DC took several steps to tackle the problem, the official said. He said the district administration, in collaboration with DIET, the education department and senior functionaries initiated the project 'Talaash' in 2022 under the aegis of the Directorate, Samagra Shiksha J&K with the goal to achieve 100 per cent enrolment of the out-of-school' children who were mostly from Scheduled Tribe community.
The district administration organised special camps, raised awareness at the micro level, opened special winter coaching centres and took care of logistics, the official said. The rate of OoSCs was on a higher side in the far-flung areas of Kishtwar like Drabshalla, Chatroo, Nagseni, and Bounjwah, particularly among the ST communities, the official said. He said the administration gave several incentives and convinced reluctant parents to send them to school again.
The official said that the OoSC were given special attention in the winter coaching institutions established exclusively for them. Immediately after their enrolment, a baseline test was conducted, followed by a special bridge course the material for which was prepared with the help of DIET, Kishtwar and Director, Samagra Sikhsha, the official said.
He said an endline test was conducted for all OoSC after five to six months of special teaching followed by their admission in nearby schools. Not only this, after their mainstreaming in schools, the services of seasonal teachers were provided to them in their dhokas' (mud houses) when most of them move to mountains during summers, the official said. (PTI)