Poor pupils shun school for odd jobs - ECAS Punjab

Poor pupils shun school for odd jobs

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Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 30

Karamjeet Singh, a Class 10 student of Government Senior Secondary School, Kakrala, is working as a labourer these days. He has not attended even a single class ever since schools reopened for Classes IX to XII on October 19 after a Covid-induced lockdown in the state.

"Now, I am employed full-time with a tile-installation contractor and helping my family earn some extra income," he said. Lakhvir Singh (15), a student of government school, Ghagga, has started working at a tractor-repair shop on the Patiala-Patran highway. "I have been working here for months now and have started earning. I won't go to school again," he said. "Since the lockdown, many parents have approached me to train their children at my salon," said a barber shop owner.

Teachers say the attendance in most schools is only about 20 per cent even after 10 days of reopening. Hardeep Toderpur, a member of the teacher union, said, "Majority of the schoolchildren are from poor families. As many of them have started working to supplement their families' income, they may not return to school again." District Education Officer Harinder Kaur said, "I will direct school principals to ensure that no student drops out from government schools."

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