Increasing School Enrolment

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One of the main aims of PACS' work on education has been to increase the elementary school enrolment of children aged 6-14, particularly girls and those who belong to socially excluded households. This complements the work of the government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All Campaign) that aims to ensure universal elementary school attendance across India, as per the Right to Education Act.

The need to improve school enrolment

Despite being compulsory under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, only 87% of elementary school aged children actually attend school, and the drop in enrolment from Primary to Upper Primary is high – on average, 52% of children drop out after Class 5.

Drop out rates are especially high for socially excluded groups: 54% of children from Scheduled Castes, 59% of children from Scheduled Tribes and Muslim communities, and 63% of children with disabilities drop out between these levels.

Find out more about why children from socially excluded groups are more likely to drop out from school.

To try and ensure universal elementary school education, the Government of India launched Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA - the Education for All Campaign) in 2001. With the passing of the RTE Act in 2009, SSA now has the legal force behind it.

For many children from socially excluded families, education is not a priority and drop-out rates are high. Thanks to the work of PACS, school enrolment is increasing in many areas where PACS partners have been working.

Behatar Shiksha Haq Abhiyan

Between April and June 2014, the PACS team in Uttar Pradesh led 16 partner organisations in the Behatar Shiksha Haq Abhiyan (Right to Quality Education Campaign). The objective of the drive was to motivate out-of-school children from
 socially excluded groups in the 6-14 year age group to go to

The campaign was organised in joint collaboration with School Management Committees (SMCs) and the State education department, which runs a “School Chalo Abhiyan” (Go to School Campaign) as part of their commitment to the SSA.

The SMCs played an influential role in 
the success of the enrolment campaign due to their local knowledge. They helped to organise door-to-door home visits and rallies in their communities to help parents to understand the importance of education. Due to high drop-out rates from school, it was important to reach out to all families, but they particularly concentrated on households where children were not already enrolled in school.

Getting children into to school

Thanks to the Behatar Shiksha Haq Abhiyan 21,865 children (12,552 girls and 12,313 boys) were successfully enrolled in 1078 schools

In addition to the work in Uttar Pradesh, PACS partner Aaina conducted a special drive in seven blocks of Odisha to encourage the enrolment of children with disabilities in mainstream schools and, in West Bengal, 13,033 out-of-school children were supported to return to mainstream education.

Thanks to the work of PACS, over 30,000 children are now attending school and receiving the education that is rightfully theirs.

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