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Students Bring Dropouts Back To Classrooms

2016-07-27 15:26

Students of Santipur College speaking to a dropout student and his parents Picture by ABHI GHOSH

NfN NETWORK

Santipur, July 27: The members of the National Service Scheme unit of SantipurCollege in Nadia have vowed to bring the students back to the class rooms who stopped their studies recently due to various reasons. The NSS team which conducted a survey in schools in rural areas of Santipur to assess the dropout level has so far been able to bring back four students of a school back to class room, where it initiated project first.

Interestingly enough, the NSS team members comprised of students of different under graduate faculties, have found that rate of dropouts are higher among girls than boys due to early marriage. To combat this trend, they have started weekend awareness programme against early marriage.

The NSS team started the survey from February and later organized a camp at TustulalHigh school located near Guptipara ghat. The initiative has started paying back gradually as till last month four dropout students have so far resumed studies.

“The number of success is not big enough, nevertheless we are happy that a process of awareness has begun and the comprehensive counseling involving the parents and students with follow up reviews have worked ultimately”, said Santipur college’s NSS camp officer professor Kinkar Mondal.

The NSS team examined the dropouts in five schools and found that an average 2% of students in those rural schools have stopped studies in last year.

Professor Sukhen Biswas, NSS programme coordinator of KalyaniUniversity under whom the Santipur college team worked said: “We requested the school authorities to provide list of students who stopped coming to school during 2015. From the data we found that girls suspended studies more than boys. The team met parents of some dropped out students and found that early marriage as the major reason for the girls while for boys earning money to increase family income worked havoc”.

In Tustulal high school the NSS team found that 12 students stopped studies in 2015.

NSS team member Sangita Pramanik, a BA 2nd year student and a team member said: “During the ten days camp organized in last month we met all the 12 dropout students and their parents to know the reasons. We found seven girls stopped studies of which six got married at class nine or eight, while others started working as child labor in agricultural field, illegal sand pit or in brick klin. We talked in detail with them and tried to make them aware about the need of education. Most of these families belong to BPL categories and not aware of welfare schemes of the government. We requested the local panchayat authorities to help these families through beneficiary schemes so that the children could resume studies. This initiative worked well as four students came back to school till last month”.

Bikash Biswas, head master of Tustulal high school said: “It is due to initiative of the NSS team four students have comeback to school and resumed studies.”

Rintu Mahato, a resident of Ramnagar Char, son of a weaver, who resumed studies again at class six this year said: “I belong to very poor family. My father earns around Rupees three thousand per month. I stopped study to help my father. But, after speaking to the NSS team, I realized that it was a mistake. The local panchayat has also arranged ration for us. I have now decided to continue study and help my father during my leisure at home”.

Mukul Biswas son of a farm labor from Badherpara, who also resumed study at class nine said: “I was depressed witnessing the poverty at home and dropped studies. The panchayat has now arranged a job for my father under 100days works scheme and arranged ration. I am happy to resume study”.

But realizing that this success need a sustainable approach, the students from last month started weekend review and awareness programmes in school adjacent villages.

NSS camp manager Biswajit Roy said: “We told the students that dropout has socio-economic reasons. So they should campaign against early marriage of girls, child labor and at the same time aware people about the beneficiary schemes of government”.

NSS team member Subhajit Mitra, a second year BA (honors) student said: “We have now started visiting the villages and making people aware against curse of dropout and early marriage of girls. We have also made them aware about government welfare schemes like Kanyashree and requested the panchayat authorities to help the villagers so that their children could continue studies”.

Officials of Nadia district Sarvasiksha mission have welcomed the initiative of the NSS team.

“It is a great initiative by NSS team. Our extensive efforts have largely decreased dropout in past few years. But we need to sustain this success. In last academic year, Nadia recorded 591 cases of dropouts. We are trying to bring them back to school. I am hopeful that NSS initiative would reduce the dropout further”, an official said.

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