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Agartala: The school education department of Tripura has successfully reduced the dropout rate that rose high owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, Tripura School Education Director Chandni Chandran said.

“Tripura has always performed well in terms of enrollment, but it took a nosedive during the Covid period,” Chandran said.

To fix the school dropout rate, which went as high as 4.22 percent, the education department organized the Vidyalay Chalo Abhiyan in August. A household survey done under the programme helped the department identify as many as 3,191 children of school going age who were no longer enrolled with the school.

“Accordingly, their parents were persuaded and 2,313 students have so far been brought back to schools. We are trying hard to make sure that 100 percent children of school going age get enrolled in schools,” the official said, adding that the drop out rate now stands at 1.04 percent.

Meanwhile, the education department of Tripura has also decided to set up four model inclusive schools capable of teaching normal as well as differently-able students under the same roof. The schools selected for the implementation of the project include Khudiram Bose English Medium School (West Tripura), Kirit Bikram Institutions (Gomati District), Kabi Nazrul School (Khowai) and Padmapur school (North Tripura).

“These schools have been selected based on higher enrollment of divyang children in them. All the necessary infrastructure such as blind walk, special educators, ramps and other basic things have been arranged in these schools,” Chandran said.

Under the project, each class standard will have one special educator, which means a school till Class 12 will have 12 special educators.

“The Divyang children are taught in special schools according to their special needs. We think that if they get a chance to study along with the normal children, they can better integrate with the society. The normal children will similarly create a sensitive citizenry empathetic towards the special needs of persons with disability,” Chandran added.

The school education department is also tying up with the Social Welfare and Social Education Department to improve the academic part of anganwadi centers.

“In Tripura, 85 percent of the pre-school children go to anganwadi centers. Under the new scheme, school teachers will guide the anganwadi center-level teachers to improve the foundational literacy and numeracy. This scheme has been designed as per the recommendations made in the New Education Policy,” she said.

The Director of School education also said that digital libraries were being set up in 304 schools on a pilot basis.    

Also read | Tripura could get two centrally controlled health facilities

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