Two weeks since the enrollment of primary students commenced, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) School Board has already crossed 14,000 enrollment in Class I, the entry class. in over 93 per cent municipal schools across the city, in the month of June, recording the highest numbers since 2015.
This record number of admissions has taken place without any special annual enrollment drives for government schools, Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani, conducted every year in June at the beginning of a new academic session, since 2003. The state government decided to put these off in the wake of the pandemic.
“Due to Covid-19 this year, our teachers could not conduct enrollment drives, which are carried in the form of surveys of with children of school-going ages and also anganwadi children. Even we are surprised at this enrollment crossing 14,000 in the month of June alone,” said Administrative Officer of AMC School Board, LD Desai.
Admissions remain open till August 31, and 387 municipal schools have already achieved 85 per cent admissions when compared to the total admissions in 2019. This, at a time when most migrant families have still not returned from their native villages to Ahmedabad.
Interestingly, when compared to the annual total enrollment achieved till August 31, 2019, the city’s central zone which covers the walled city area – one of the worst coronavirus affected areas – has already crossed 101 per cent enrollment till June 30. Against 1,697 total enrollments in 2019, as many as 1.719 students have enrolled from the central zone in Class I this year.
Among reasons cited for the high number of enrollment in municipal schools is the impact of the pandemic on family incomes. Authorities expect the enrollment to further increase in the coming days.
“Although many families have still not returned from their native villages or states to the city, parents who were contacted were found to be preferring in municipal schools over private schools. We realised this during various door-to-door surveys that were conducted by teachers for the state government till last month, where parents would enquire about municipal schools and the facilities provided,” said Deepikaben Brahmbhatt, supervisor of central zone.
In view of these encouraging enrollment numbers, school board authorities are hoping to overturn the declining student enrollment in its schools. Over the past decade, the AMC school board has been struggling with declining enrollment numbers from over 1.6 lakh to 1.22 lakh. At present, AMC School board runs 387 schools in six mediums, with an enrollment of 1.22 lakh students and 3,650 teachers. Barring the 33 English-medium schools that offer kindergarten, the entry-level class in remaining 354 municipal schools is Class I.
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