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Alwar offers novel education to passersby
Published on 17 Apr. 2010 11:32 PM IST
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In a state parched for water and literacy, it’s a novel idea. The teachers of a government-run school in Alwar town offer to quench the thirst of passersby and then speak to them about enrolling their children.
The Pratap Senior Secondary School has opened a ‘piyao’ or water serving kiosk near the school premises where the teachers and other staff members, while offering water to passersby, inform them about educational and other facilities provided there.
School principal Chankya Lal Sharma, the man behind the idea, also sits at the kiosk to interact with people.
“This entire exercise is aimed at increasing enrolment in the school. We at present have only 52 students and my idea is to take the strength to at least 200 by the start of the next academic session,” Sharma told IANS.
During the ‘piyao counselling’ session, they inform people that the school, besides providing education, tries to get children involved in socially useful productive work (SUPW) and the National Cadet Corps (NCC).
They are also taken on educational tours and girl students are provided uniforms, cycles and course books free of cost, the school staff tell people.
The school also helps students coming from far away places to get bus passes. In the last academic session, the institute had a only 40 students and 28 staff members.
“We persuade people to bring a child even if he/she has failed in an examination or is not good in studies. We tell their parents that we would organise special classes for them,” Sharma said.
“We have a 100 percent result in this year’s Class 8 examination in spite of the fact that not all of our students were bright in studies,” he added. Sharma said that from May 1, his colleagues would identify the school dropouts and try to link them with education.
“Every teacher has been asked to enrol at least 10 children,” he said. The school has 22 teachers. “We are also planning to put banners like private schools do to attract students,” Sharma said. As per the last census in 2001, Rajasthan’s literacy rate of 60.41 percent was lower than the national average of 64.84 percent.
And to make things worse, the high school dropout rate in Rajasthan is high; it has a 50 percent dropout rate from the primary to the upper primary stage and the percentage of out-of-school (OOS) children in the state has gone up from 6.9 percent to 8.21 percent in the recent past.

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