ALLEGING DISCREPANCIES in the claims of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation School Board that municipal schools saw nearly two per cent drop out rate in 2013-14, city-based NGO Sushashan Samuday said the rate was as high as 50 per cent according to information revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
According to the report, the number of students who enrolled in Gujarati-medium municipal schools in Class I was 21,690 in the year 2006-07. This number was reduced to 11,459 by the time they reached Class VIII in 2013-14, showing that 10,231 students dropped out during this phase.
Further, the data shared by the NGO pertaining to other medium municipal schools also reflected a drop out number of 15,172 students from academic year 2006-07 to 2013-14. The number of students enrolled in Class I were 31,843 (2006-07) that reduced to 16,671 in 2013-14 in Class VIII.
“The data sought under RTI Act has proved the false claims by the state government as well as AMC school board of almost 99 per cent enrollment and two per cent drop out rate. The truth is that there is 50 per cent drop out and a similar enrollment rate in Ahmedabad municipal schools in both Gujarati as well as other medium schools,” alleged Sukhdev Patel, convenor of Sushashan Samuday.
The data finds significance ahead of the annual three-day school evaluation exercise, Gunotsav, scheduled to kick off across the state from Thursday.
Dismissing the allegations, the AMC school board chairman Jagdish Bhavsar said, “Students might have gone to private schools after Class VII. Also, after the implementation of Right to Education Act in the year 2010-11, Class VIII was brought down from secondary to primary schools. This was also done in three phases. This is the reason why there is such a wide gap.”
Bhavsar further claimed that city municipal schools have witnessed a drop-out rate of 1.29 per cent though he did not revealed the enrollment rate.
Admitting that parents preferred to send their wards to private schools in Ahmedabad, he said, “For Class I, parents usually prefer private schools over municipal ones. This is known to all.”
Meanwhile, Patel said Sushashan Samuday members would meet Bhavsar along with AMC commissioner and city mayor on January 11 to submit a support letter instead of a memorandum. “Since officials would be busy in the Gunotsav for the next three days, we would be extending our support to the officials to improve municipal schools on January 11. We do not seek answers from the authorities but give assurance to provide support in improving the quality of education,” said the NGO convenor.