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Maharashtra goes selfie way to keep tab on school dropouts

To keep a check on the rising number of dropouts from state-run schools, the Maharashtra government has decided to adopt the selfie route, wherein teachers will have to upload classroom pictures, each comprising a group of 10 students marking their attendance.

According to a government resolution (GR) released by the State Education Ministry today the selfies along with Aadhar numbers and name of students have to be uploaded to the SARAL system, which handles education database for the state government.

This initiative shall be implemented from January next year where every selfie should have 10 students. It is aimed at creating a record of the students who are not regular to schools, the GR said.

Teachers are expected to upload the photos of all the students on the first two Mondays after the drive is launched.

School teachers should inform the higher authorities in the education department about the students who are irregular. The officials will already have the details of the irregular students, and hence can take some policy decisions to bring them back to school, the GR said.

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2014 the dropout rate in Maharashtra has been around nine per cent, as against 15 per cent nationwide.

The State Education department has also identified another two categories, due to which students drop out. These are when families migrate within the state and when families shift base to Maharashtra. In both the cases some students get dropped out, the GR said.

The parents, who are shifting base within the state, have been asked to make alternate arrangements for their school-going children so that they do not lose track. The children can stay with their grand-parents or in temporary hostels.

It will be the responsibility of the schools to find out such students, upload their information on SARAL and communicate it to education commissioner and principal secretary of the education department.

On the other hand, if some students have to move, then Education Guarantee Card should be issued to them. It can be sent to the school administration through WhatsApp, where the student is being shifted, the GR stated.

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