Homeless children in Broadway miss out on lessons, finds survey – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: Children of the homeless in Chennai’s Broadway missed out on lessons during the shutdown, a survey has shown. About 71% were not accessing any forms of education during the pandemic, it found. According to the survey, conducted among 100 children in the locality by the Information and Resources Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), 47% are between Classes I and V, 46% in middle and high school and 7% in Classes XI and XII. A majority, 68%, are in governmentaided schools, 27% in corporation schools and 5% in private schools. A high 81% of children in corporation schools are unable to access any form of education; only 13% are able to access it.
About 59% of children do not have access to smartphones with internet connections or televisions. Parents of 41% of children said schools did not provide them any information about classes. Nor were they contacted by their teachers.
The survey also found that many children didn’t get textbooks for the current academic year as they couldn’t afford the fees and most were still reading old texts. They also forget what they learned in schools as they are out of touch with their syllabus. Parents said many children lost their books in the heavy rain that lashed the city a few weeks ago.
Similar is the situation of children of homeless families in other areas of the city.
Experts suggested that children in need of gadgets should be provided them and preventive measures undertaken to ensure homeless children do not drop out of schools.
Vanessa Peter, policy researcher of IRCDUC, said the government must prioritise specific needs of children in street situations and ensure on a priority that they have access to education. “If left unaddressed the number of children dropping out of school will drastically increase,” she said.
A senior education department official said there were plans to come up with a few initiatives to ensure these children continue their education. “We are planning to set up computer centers, within nearby schools, so the children can access online material at staggered timings. We had also informed teachers to reach out to these children individually and follow up on their education. We will hold a meeting to find out the reality,” he said.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/homeless-children-in-broadway-miss-out-on-lessons-finds-survey/articleshow/79823782.cms