Out of School Children (OoSC):
Definition: A child 6-14 years of age will be considered out of school if
he/she has never been enrolled in an elementary school or if after
enrolment has been absent from school without prior intimation for reasons
of absence for a period of 45 days. Generally speaking, OoSC is Never
Enrolled + Dropouts.
It is a matter of fact that children who still remain out of school fall in the
“hardest to reach” or “most vulnerable” categories. While rapid increase in
enrolment and attendance has occurred among children from poor
households, the poor localities still have OoSC who are left out of system.
Within local communities there are pockets of exclusion from schools, with
high presence of SC, ST, street children, orphan/homeless children,
migrant children, denotified/primitive tribal groups etc. Gender is a cross-
cutting category which overlaps other disadvantages.
While the “never enrolled” children may be increasingly integrated within
the system over the next few years, the issue of dropouts will need
sustained mechanism to address it.
Enrolling Out of School Children in Special Training
Centres – a way forward towards education:
The Special Training Programme
whereby the children admitted
to the Special Training Centres (Residential/Non-Residential) is
enrolled in age appropriate classes, and then offered a
special course and helped to bridge their learning gaps through
use of accelerated learning techniques, in alignment with the
spirit of the Right to Education Act.
Where a child of above six years of age has not been admitted to any
school or though admitted, could not complete his or her elementary
education, then, he or she shall be admitted in a class appropriate to
his or her age.
Provided that where a child is directly admitted in a class appropriate
to his or her age, then, he or she shall, in order to be on par with
others, have a right to receive special training, in such a manner, and
within such time limits, as may be prescribed.
Provided further that a child so admitted to elementary educations
shall be entitled to free education till completion of elementary
education even after fourteen years.
Article 4, Right to Education Act
The Government of India’s Right to Education Act has been instrumental in
the reduction of the number of Out of School Children (OoSC) aged 6 to 14
years from 13.46 million in 2006 to six million in 2014 (Source: RI-IMRB
Survey, 2009 and 2014).
It is imperative to mention that Jammu & Kashmir had an estimated 27500
OoSC according to the TALAASH survey conducted by the erstwhile
Directorate of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan during the year 2016-17. TALAASH
Survey is a door to door survey conducted to identify the number of OoSC
based on the specific format and credentials. Needless to say that OoSC
once identified are enrolled in Special Training Centre (STC) for bridge
course remedial teaching (level I, II or III) and are accordingly
mainstreamed in the age appropriate classes after completing the bridge
course. The learning ability/capacity of the child shall properly be assessed
by the teacher/headmaster concerned before admitting the child in the
Moreover, based on the specific age group and bridge course level the
child is enrolled, following criteria is followed to mainstream the child in
Role of Samagra Shiksha:
||Age Band (in years)
||Bridge Course or Special Training
||Age appropriate class
||Level I (for 3 to 6 months)
||Level I for (3 to 6 months or Level II for 6
to 9 months)
||Level III for 12 months, this may continue
for 02 years if needed after assessment
Every year Directorate of Samagra Shiksha, J&K puts the issue of tracking,
identifying, enrolling and mainstreaming on priority and has been
constantly making efforts to reduce the number of Out of School Children
in UT of J&K with special focus on migrant & tribal children, minority
communities, children with special needs and the most unprivileged. Also,
Samagra Shiksha in collaboration with the Directorates of Education of
Jammu/Kashmir, National Child Labour Project (NCLP) and with some
NGOs like UNICEF, Humana People to People, Vikramshila etc tremendous
progress has been made over the years. As a result, the number of OoSC
has been consistently reduced during the recent years.
Going forward and to address the issues like tracking and identifying the
OoSC and to find out the exact number of different categories of these
children, Directorate of Samagra Shiksha, J&K intends to initiate a
comprehensive programme to address this issue in line with the directives
of the Ministry of Education viz-a-viz:
1. Since the TALAASH survey was conducted during the year 2016-17
and there is a need for fresh door-to-door survey (TALAASH Survey)
to prepare a database of age specific school going children as well as
2. Enumerate and keep track of OoSC in a timely & quality manner
through intensive data analysis - monitoring & mainstreaming them;
3. Reduce the number of OoSC through timely enrolment, regular
attendance and flexible learning for elementary aged children;
Moreover, to facilitate/improve these mapping exercises and ensure timely
action is taken to follow up on Out of School Children (OoSC), Directorate
of Samagra Shiksha, J&K in collaboration with UNICEF has commissioned
the development of the digital application ‘TALAASH’ to collect data in
household surveys to map OoSC and develop a dashboard for easy access
to reports based on the collected data for J&K.