As per RTE Act, 2009 the state has to conduct Special Training for those children who have not been enrolled in formal school or not completed the elementary education and such children should be imparted Special Training after enrolment in age appropriate class so that they may be at par with other children. The first provision of section 4 of the RTE Act 2009 with says “provided that where the child is directly admitted in a class appropriate to his ot her age, then he or she shall, in order to be at par with others, have a right to receive a Special Training in such manner and within such time limit as may be prescribed.” As per SSA norms special training may be of the duration of 3 months to 3 years depending on the capability of the child to achieve the required competencies for his or her eligibility for back to school or mainstreaming. Special Training may be imparted by school teachers or by specially appointed teachers or Education Volunteers either in school or through classes in safe Residential facilities.
Residential Special training Centre(RSTC)
In the Residential Special Training Centre’s, Training have been provided to Out of School children who has just admitted in the age specific class in a neighbourhood school. The children’s for Residential Special training are identified by the concern School Management Committee and recommended for providing Residential mode of Special Training to the Authority concern. The Local Advisory Committee, constituted for smooth running of the centre select the children after verifying the recommendation received from the School Management Committees.
In the centre, the children were given a 30 days motivational training through a course namely ‘Prastuti Sambhar’ so that the child can be motivated for learning in the centre and their competency level can be identified . As and when the motivational training course completed, the main training imparted. Considering achievement level of the children, the children was targeted for providing training for a period of minimum 3 months to maximum 24 months. The training was provided through a specially designed study materials called ‘Condense Materials’. During the training period ‘Individualized Educational Plan’ for each learner was maintained and this ‘Individualized Educational Plan’ helped the Education Volunteers for identifying the children’s competency level as well as for mainstreaming.
In all Residential Special Training Centres, free logistics were provided to each learners. Bedding materials such as bed, mattress, pillow, and mosquito net etc. and three time food with morning and evening tea snacks were provided to each learner. Free uniform, sweeter, slipper, detergent soap, tooth paste, tooth brass, hair oil etc were provided to each learner.
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Since drop out and never enrolled is a common phenomenon in rural areas due to socio- economic problem, Sarba Siksha Abhijan, Assam at present is making efforts to achieve universal enrolment as well as successful for awareness generation for enabling the community to internalize the habit of school education is also planned. Two major objective of Sarba Siksha Abhijan, namely “All children in school and universal retention” for universalisation of Elementary Education. Special Training one of the major components of SSA plays vital role in convergence with other components.
There are large number of madrassas functioning particularly in the areas dominated by religious minority. However most of these madrassas do not belong to the state madrassa board or dept. of elementary education. Most of these institutions are run by public donations and local trusts. Prime objective of this institution is to impart religious education to the children of Muslim community. The core curriculum of these Institutions is purely religious and its main aim is to create a group of religious priests. But in some Madrassa it has been observed that the management is trying to introduce some subject of secular education. These Madrassa covers a Sizable Nos. of children below 14 years age and most of them are not getting any input of formal education as such. To bring these children within the purview of formal education, It is designed to open alternative schooling centre in these institutions as well where the children could learn the competencies of formal schooling apart from the religious lessons. Considering the above importance the district has intervention to 25 nos. Religious Madrassa covering 750 nos. of children. However as per the resolutions adopted by Project Appraisal Board under the light of RTE Act, Alternative education could not be continued to the madrassas for more than 2 years. Becuase, as per the act the children can only be imparted special training with strict provision of mainstreaming in the nearby formal schools.
It has been observed that a large number of families migrate from their own village to other places in search of livelihood every year. It is seen that in Assam families from different districts migrate to other areas to work in brick kiln, stone queries road construction agencies and other hazardous conditions. Most of these families bring their children along with them to these work sites. As a result a large number of children have to leave school in the mid way for a larger part of the academic year. In general the seasonal migration has been a major cause for children being deprived from elementary education throughout the country during the migration period.
In this backdrop SSA in Assam decided to opertationalise 6 months non residential seasonal centres in order to give schooling opportunity through this alternative schooling intervention to these children who give up schooling in the mid way. This intervention gets underway in October/November and gets closed by March next year.
24 nos. of seasonal Centres (provisionally known as Work Site Sanjogi Siksha Kendra) has been operationalized. Since then every year seasonal worksite centre are being operationalised in the period from Nov. to March for a short term.
Through this centre the children living with parents working in the brick kiln, stone quarries are provided alternative schooling facility. A worksite seasonal centre is established in the premises of brick kiln itself. One EV(Education Volunteer) is engaged in each Centre and necessary learning materials like Black board, work book and other stationary item are provided to the children. In addition to the specific goal of imparting education, the programme focuses on maintaining a liaison with SSA/ schooling authorities of sending areas. For linking to the children to their original school of native areas after their return. These children get a educational progress card on return to their native place.
A managing committee was formed for each of the Seasonal Centres for Migrated Children headed by the president who is also the president of the concerned GP/AP president where the Seasonal Centres for Migrated Children is situated. The concerned DQM/CRCC became the member secretary of the committee. The other member includes the member secretary of the concerned local SMC, Representative from owner and 5 workers from the industries for smooth running of the centre.