In a bid to bring down the number of out-of-school students in the state, the government will be issuing Education Guarantee Cards (EGC) to children from migrating families to record their education history.

Education Minister Vinod Tawde informed the Assembly on Wednesday that a state-wide survey, conducted between January 15 and January 30 this year with the help of around 700 NGOs, has found 74,971 students to be out of school. A similar survey in July 2015 had put the number of such children at 54,648.

Pointing out that several surveys by private organisations have recorded a much higher number of out-of-school students, Congress MLA Harshwardhan Sapkal sought to know the reason behind the discrepancy. Mr Tawde said such surveys are part of a continuous process, and will be undertaken at regular intervals by the government.

“Of the 74,971 out-of-school students, around 49,339 have been enrolled. These students have been given Aadhaar cards. In addition, EGC will be given to students whose families migrate for various reasons,” he added.

Mr Tawde said the education history of the concerned student will be recorded in the EGC. Upon migration, the student’s card will inform his/her previous educational qualifications and the student can be enrolled in the new school as per the history.

The Shiv Sena questioned the government’s decision to close state-run schools with less than 20 students, saying the policy will adversely affect students in the state’s hilly areas, to which the government said schools in such areas will be exempted.