She said the number of dropouts in 2013-14 was 33,557. In 2014-15 it was 31,276 while the following year the number went down to 14,957 and last year it was 17,299. The Minister said the government has set up special training centres to bring them back to school and efforts are on to wean them back through various programs and initiatives.
One of the programmes initiated was the effort to try and improve the quality of teachers' education and also introducing a flexible timing of the training centres to cater to those children who cannot attend school during the day time, Marak said.
She also said that the training modules were translated into local languages for better teaching and learning in lower primary section even as free textbooks, midday meal and teaching and learning methods were provided free of cost.
Marak also informed that West Khasi Hills district registered 4508 number of children who dropped out of school followed by Jaintia Hills district having 1440 dropouts and Ri-bhoi district having 1041 dropouts.
Enrolment drives were also taken during celebration of world literacy day and transport and escort allowances were provided to children residing in the difficult coal mine areas, she said.
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