Aadhaar to the rescue of out-of-school kids

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on Wednesday said it has devised a new strategy of using the Aadhaar card to bring out-of-school children back to the stream.

“Tracking children using their Aadhaar numbers is one of the best ways in which we can check out-of-school children. This is mostly because the children whose parents belong to the lower strata change places frequently. And this means we are not able to keep track of them,” the MHRD said in a statement.

“For this we have already conveyed to all states to ensure that all children, even those who are out-of-school, are given Aadhaar cards,” the statement added.

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The decision was taken by the MHRD in the recently held meeting of the sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and the final report will be submitted soon.

Other than the mid-day meal scheme, the MHRD is in talks with states and other stakeholders to take corrective measures to bring out-of-school children back and retain them in school.

“We were also told that when children change places, if the language of instruction changes, they drop out. So, we will pay more attention to provide study material in the language they are comfortable with,” the MHRD said.

Despite the Right to Education Act calling for free education for all till 12 years, a surprising government data shows that over 28 lakh children in the country are currently out of school.

According to media reports, the Maharashtra government had in 2015 initiated a plan to track its nearly 1.6 crore school students with an objective to improve the quality of education in the state.

The Devendra Fadnavis government had put into practice a unique child education tracking system by using the Aadhaar identification number of all the nearly 1.6 crore students in the age group of 6-14 years.

Here are some easy ways to enroll your child to Aadhaar:

1. For children below 5 years, you just need to visit the enrolment centre and fill out the enrolment form with documents such as copies of child’s birth certificate and your own Aadhaar card.

2. If the age of applicant is less than 5 years, no biometrics will be recorded, only photograph will be required.

3. In this case, child’s Aadhaar will be linked to the UID of his parents. These children will need to update their biometrics of ten fingers and photograph.

4. In this case child’s Aadhaar cannot be made without the parent having an Aadhaar first.