Over 2,000 students enrolled in government-run primary schools are missing and there is no trace of them! The ongoing Measles- Rubella vaccine immunisation programme launched in the district by health department has unmasked ghost enrolment in schools and mass education department.

A senior official of public health wing said that 49,178 students were targeted under the vaccination drive in Rajnagar tehsil. While 47,044 children have so far been administered the vaccines, as many as 2,134 school children have so far not turned up.

As a result, they are yet to be immunized, said health department officials. We tried to locate them by door-to-door survey. But the missing children could not be traced out against the address given in the school register.

It has led us to believe that practice of ghost enrolment of students is on vogue in several schools at least in Rajnagar tehsil areas, the official said.

Ironically the missing children were being covered mid day meal (MDM) and ration was being lifted against them for noon meal. They were also provided with free school dress by the school and education department.

However, they remained untraceable during immunization drive. It’s seems to be a case of ghost enrolment to inflate the roll strength in the schools, officials confided.

The noon meal ration allocated against the fake students was gobbled up the authorities concerned authorities. The beneficiaries of enrolment scam were mostly from district social welfare department and schools and mass education department officials.

MDM suppliers too had a share in the spoils. The alleged fake enrolment is being investigated. A departmental inquiry committee has been formed to look into.

Disciplinary action would be initiated against those either involved or promoting the ghost enrolment, said Block Education Officer, Ananta Kumar Behera.