Student Enumeration Survey, conducted by the Andhra Pradesh department of school education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, has identified about 8,459 out-of-school children in Visakhapatnam district.
The survey was launched after officials noticed a large disparity between the number of school-going children and school-age children identified in two recently conducted state and Union government surveys.
The ‘AP Praja Sadhikara Survey’ or the “Smart Pulse Survey”, which captured the socio-economic data of 1.4 crore households in the state, has identified 68 lakh, school-age children. The recent U-DISE data, however, put the number of school-going children in Andhra Pradesh at about 60 lakh. Comparing data of the two surveys shows a wide variation in school-age children and school-going children of about 8 lakh, including 31,000 children in Visakhapatnam district.
State officials initially suspected that the 8 lakh children missing from the data might be due to them not being enrolled in the U-DISE database or them studying in unrecognized schools. They also estimated that there was a possibility of tracing 70% of the children, that is, 5.6 lakh students in CBSE schools, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Schools and unrecognized schools. They were successful in finding all the students, except 8,459 students in Visakhapatnam district.
Speaking to, SSA official L Giridhar said, a special enrollment drive will be launched from June 1 to bring all dropouts and out-of-school children back to school. “The drive is also aimed at increasing the enrollment at government schools. We want to ensure no one out of the 8,459 out-of-school children is left out,” said Giridhar.
District education officials claimed they are on a mission to impart free and compulsory education. “The state has established a primary school in every 1-kilometer radius, upper primary schools in 3-kilometer radius and high schools in a 5km radius. The survey was conducted to verify gross enrolment ratio, net enrolment ratio and identification of actual out-of-school children with the help of technology,” said an official.