‘Don’t lose sight of migrant students gone back home’



The education directorate has dispatched online forms to the aided, non-aided, and government schools in the state, which among other things pose a question about the number of students in these schools, who are children of the migrant labourers.

Incidentally, the ministry of human resource development on Tuesday issued guidelines to states and Union territories regarding education of migrant workers’ children, who have gone back to their home states during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These guidelines direct the schools to ensure that the names of such students are not struck off the school rolls. 

“While all care must be taken to ensure that their names are not struck off the rolls (as the possibility of their return anytime 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 meals, distribution of textbooks and uniforms if not already completed,” the MHRD states in its guidelines.

Over one lakh migrants, including children, have left Goa for their native places, mostly in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The online forms sent by the DoE to the schools around the state aim to conduct a survey for providing access to the students to proper online education, during the closure of these institutions. The forms are to be filled by the headmaster/principal separately for each class in the school.

The directorate has also stated that the headmaster/principal of each school should hold a meeting with the teachers of each class to collect the required information.

“Please make sure that the teachers have verified the data from the parents of the students,” the forms maintain.

The form poses questions like the number of students in the school who are children of migrant labourers and children with special needs; number of students having full and unlimited access to Internet and related devices as well as teacher having online access to the students at anytime; number of students dependent on parents for access to Internet and related devices; number of students having full and unlimited access to their own television set; number of students having limited access to television set or depending on neighbours/ community space for the same; and so on.

The form also includes questions such as number of students in the school who have full as well as part access to radio, landline and mobile phone; average hours spent by each student on learning every day; and distribution of the hours spent on an average per day, per student in the class, who have access to devices like desktop, laptop and smart phone.

The form also inquire details such as study by the students through worksheets and supplementary material sent by the teachers via parents; watching videos and accessing material by students on WhatsApp; assembling of students in the neighbourhood at a location such as a panchayat hall by maintaining social distancing; attending class by teacher in a home visit as well as mentor/ volunteer in the neighbourhood; attending class via peer group working together as well as older students teaching younger children; and attending class via NGO support/ citizen/ service centre.

The form also inquires if a time table has been created and sent to the parents of the students, and if so, whether the time table is different for students with and without devices. It is further inquired in the form as to whether the teachers have contacted the parents to explain their role in the online education.

“Do the parents know whom to contact if they don’t understand what needs to be done by the child,” the form inquires with the schools. There are also questions about assessment of the students by teachers, and steps taken to ensure mental and physical wellbeing of students in the online classes.