As schools across the country prepare for the commencement of the new academic session, Prayash Single Window, with the support of Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, (APPI) launched, “Namalekha Sachetana Abhiyan”, a three day campaign, which commenced on April 6, 2018, to improve elementary school enrolment across Odisha, of children aged 6-14, particularly girls and those who belong to socially excluded houses. Under this initiative, Prayash Single Window will re-enrol children who have dropped out into government schools and anganwadis and also try to identify the reasons that are causing large numbers of children to drop out at the grass root level.
Therefore, it was but appropriate that, the campaign aimed at motivating slum dwellers to enrol their children during ‘Pravesh Ustav’ was held in five settlements – Maa MangalaBasti ,Akhandalamani,Harijansahi ,Pichupadiya Basti and Akhaykendra basti – of ward no 46. A host of community leaders, school teachers and children of Unit-6 Capital Primary School participated in the launch. The Single Window has, in fact, been conducting these campaigns annually to sensitize slum dwellers to the importance of schooling for their children but this year the focus was on enrolling vulnerable children and creating awareness among parents on how importance education was for the overall development of their children.
The launch concluded with Mrs. Archana Mohanty , Head Mistress , Unit-6 Capital Primary School, motivating parents to fulfil their children’s dream of going to school and getting an education. The School Management Committee and other stakeholders, who were present, also offered to organize door to door visits and rallies in their communities, to help parents to understand the importance of education.
Following the launch, the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) conducted a Pravesh Ustav programme at Unit-6 Primary School in the presence of Mrs. Kalyani Maharana, Asst. Block Education Officer, Mr. Manoham Biswal Cluster Resource Coordinator, teachers, parents and community leaders. Mr. Sukant Kumar Sahoo , CC Prayash Single window explained that the objective of this programme was to encourage the enrolment of children in schools.
Mrs Pujafulla Pattnayak, State Project Manager CFAR, added that education was one of the fundamental rights of the children, so parents, teachers, the community and others stake holders were duty bound to enrol children in school and also address issues resulting in the exclusion of children from schooling.
By the close of the Pravesh Ustav programme, 30 children, many of whom were drop outs, were enrolled in school – 20 children in class 1 and 10 in class 2. They were welcomed to the school with the Odia ritual of putting a tikka on the forehead.