India's Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on Tuesday issued guidelines for the States and Union Territories (UTs) about providing education to migrant workers' children.
The ministry has expressed concern over migrant families losing a lot of time due to national lockdown to keep kids enrolled in schools. For being responsible to provide education to all, the HRD ministry has asked the country' states and union territories to ensure that the names of migrant workers' children are not struck off their respective school rolls.
“The ministry has also asked to create a database of all such students who have migrated to different cities. Such children should be noted in database as migrated or temporarily unavailable,” a senior official from the ministry said.
The official further stated that such a database may be prepared by each school after personally contacting parents and guardians of all students of their school. It can be done through various modes like- phone, Whatsapp, neighbours or peer groups. Their tentative place of stay during the lockdown period may also be noted.
As per the MHRD guidelines, the steps aim to ensure that the names of the children are not struck off the rolls (as the possibility of their return is always there).
“Their numbers may be reported class-wise to the Directorate of Education to compensate for any input costs to be incurred by the school such as mid- day meal, distribution of textbooks and uniforms, if not completed,” the guidelines stated.
The ministry has also instructed states and UTs to offer admissions to all such students without having required school-related documents, except for some identity proof.
“The schools should not ask for any transfer certificates or report cards of previous classes. The information provided by the children’s parents may be assumed to be correct and considered for giving admission to them in his or her locality’s government or government sponsored school,” the guidelines mentioned.
The lockdown made effective from 25 March led to an exodus of migrants to their home states.
According to official government data, over 15 million migrant people have been sent back home in special trains and buses. As per the government estimate, education of over 10 million children of migrant workers has been put on stake following the COVID-19 outbreak.