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Meghalaya inks MoU with NIOS to bring dropouts back to schools

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SHILLONG, May 30 (PTI): Concerned with the high dropout rate in Meghalaya, the state government on Tuesday signed an MoU with the National Institute of Open Schooling to facilitate the return of dropouts to educational institutions.

While Assam recorded the highest dropout rate in the country with 31 per cent of out-of-school students at the secondary level, Tripura with 29.8 percent is ranked number 2, an official of the education department said.

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Meghalaya with 27.9 per cent dropout rate in secondary level is ranked third followed closely by Madhya Pradesh (26.1 per cent) and Nagaland (24.4 per cent), he said.

“An MoU for identification of Out of School Children (OoSC) and enrolling them into the NIOS Study Centres was signed between the Samagra Shiksha authorities and the National Institute of Open Schooling,” a statement said.

‘Samagra Shiksha’ state project director Swapnil Tembe and NIOS chairperson Saroj Sharma were present on the occasion.

At present Meghalaya has only 25 NIOS study centres in 5 out of 12 districts -East Khasi Hills, West Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi, East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills districts.

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Tembe urged the NIOS to increase the number of study centres to cover the remaining districts as well.

He said the state project office had already taken up the initiative for publicity through newspapers, FM Radio and organised road shows for generating awareness on the necessity of preventing drop-outs.

Those in the age group of 16-19 years who had dropped out of schools can enroll  in educational institutions or NIOS study centres for completing their board exams in East Jaintia and Ri-Bhoi districts, he said.

Similar programmes will be taken up in the remaining districts, he said.

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