Updated: August 22, 2021 12:16:12 am
Over 500 tribal students who are among those mass promoted in the Class 10 boards in the tribal dominated Dang district are struggling to get admission in Class 11 with many schools yet to have new classrooms and the existing ones bursting at the seams.
The district education authorities have already moved files to increase the classes in government schools and also told other schools in the district to increase the number of classrooms. Education authorities fear, however, that because of high schools getting stretched, the dropout ratio in the district might rise.
According to Dang district education inspector Vijay Deshmukh, “in 2019-20, 26.43 per cent students dropped out of school after Class 10 of which 24.96 per cent were girls and 27.91 per cent boys. Similarly in 2021-21, the drop out ratio was 17.55 per cent out of which 17.19 were girls and 17.91 boys. This year, due to the shortage of classes figures may go up”.
Deshmukh added that the DEO had sent proposal to the state education department to increase eight classes in eight government schools in Dangs. “We are waiting for the response from the government. Once we get approval, we will start activities and in coming days there would not be issue of admission to Class 11,” said Deshmukh.
As per details received from the District Education Office (DEO) in Dang, this year, of the total of 3,909 students who have been promoted on account of the pandemic, 3,255 have got admissions. Last academic year, the district saw 67 per cent students pass and before that 65 per cent. Schools now have to not only accommodate their own students from Class 10 but also make room for new students, and in the process it is those who passed with low marks that have got left out.
The Sunday Express spoke to some of the students who said that this year if they don’t get admission they will take a year’s break to help out their parents and supplement the family income.
Urmila Thackrey, 16, a resident of Shamghan village in Ahwa taluka of Dangs district, and 25-odd batchmates of hers are struggling to get admission to the Janta high school, a grant-in-aid school in her village. This is the only high school for 10 villages around Shamghan. Apart from Urmila, there are over 25 students who are facing similar difficulties in admission to Class 11.
“My earlier school was in nearby Badripada village which has classes only up to 10th and this year I wished to get admission in Janta High school at Shamgham. I got 40 percentage marks in my Class 10 boards. When we went to take admission, principal Manubhai Gavit said their seats were full as they had taken all their own students. We went to District Education department office and told them about the admission issue, we were told to go back to Janta High school and fill the admission forms and wait for some days.”
Urmila is eldest among three children of Shanker Thackrey who works in the agricultural fields with wife Kavita to support the family. Urmila wants to become teacher and help her parents financially and also teach her younger brother and sister. “If we don’t get admission we will wait for one year, and next year we will again try for admission to continue further studies. During this one year, I will also go in the agricultural fields and work with my parents,” says Urmila.
Ravi Chaudhary, a resident of Badripada village, got 42 per cent in Class 10. Chaudhary first applied in the commerce and on being denied admission, applied to the arts stream and was told there were no vacancies in Janata School. Other schools are far from the village and there is no mode of transport as Dang has a hilly terrain.Ravi’s father, Ramesh Chaudhary, feels his dreams of seeing his son get a government job, will shatter.
“I have not attended any school in my life and I wished that my son Ravi and daughter Sangita would get good education and later good job and settle their lives. I have limited source of income and I cannot send my son to the neighbouring districts as I cannot afford expenses like school fees and accommodation in other districts. We also talked to some of the teachers in my family and they told me there is an issue in admission this year. On their advice, we will take one year break this year, and will again try next year,” says Ramesh.
There are a total of 29 high schools in Dang district, out of which 13 schools are grant-in-aid, 13 government schools, and 3 self-financed schools. There are a total of 37 classes out of which 9 are for science stream, 24 classes are for Commerce stream and the remaining are for Arts stream.
Janta high school principal Manubhai Gavit said, “We have one class of commerce in Class 11 where we have given admission to 75 students. The DEO Dangs told us to start new classes for 11th. I told them that I don’t have an extra classroom or space. Last year there were 50 students in my Class 11. This year, due to mass promotion, we have been told to induct 75 students. We have a limited number of benches, how can we adjust students in the classrooms? We neither have the funds to buy benches or build extra classrooms”.
Dang DEO Manilal Bhusara said, “After coming across the issue of admission, we have told the schools to increase the classes and class strength to accommodate maximum number of students. We have applied for nine new classes in existing government high schools in Dang.”
Congress MLA from Vansda seat that borders Dang, Anant Patel said, “We have started receiving complaints from the people of Dangs for not getting admission in Class 11. We are currently taking details of how many students are affected and once we get data, we will make representations to the DEO and district collector and request them to make arrangements for the admission of tribal students.”
Saputara school principal Dhanesh Gaekwad said, “We have two classes for commerce and one class for science. We have given admission to 92 students in Class 11 commerce and on a temporary basis we have started a classroom. We don’t have benches and other facilities, how can we adjust the students?.”
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