Rejecting the Women & Child Welfare and Mission Shakti Department (W&CD-MS) survey which claimed that 55,868 girls in the age group of 11-14 years were out of school in Odisha, state School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra on Tuesday said that the number are far below. Patra said around 1,060 adolescent girls in the same age group were out of school. The survey by WCD-MS department was conducted with the aim of finding the number of adolescent girls out of school for implementing a Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG). The Scheme for Adolescent Girls is being implemented by WCD-MS across the state since April, 2018.
“The OPEPA (Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority) in 2017 had conducted a survey. It showed that 1,060 adolescent girls in the age group of 11-14 years were out of school in the state,” Patra told reporter.
Anu Garg, secretary of the WCD-MS department, had written a letter to the principal secretary of S&ME department urging him to take immediate steps to get them enrolled in schools.
However, the School and Mass Education Ministry questioned the survey saying that the number of such girls cannot be more than one or two thousand.