June 23, 2021 2:58:15 am
In Chandigarh, the government schools located at peripheral areas, villages and in outskirts reported the highest number of dropouts and gap between enrollment in Class IX and Class X in the last five years. These schools include Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Mauli Jagran, Behlana, Sector 26 (Police Lines), Sector 56, Government High School (GHS) Kajheri and Dhanas, among others.
There are 93 government schools in Chandigarh, including 53 high schools and 40 senior secondary schools, that offer Class IX and Class X admission. Through RTI, The Indian Express procured the record of at least 58 government schools, including 32 high schools that have students upto Class X and 26 government model senior secondary schools (GMSSS) that have students till Class XII.
As per the information provided by the Chandigarh Education department in answer to the RTI, drop-out among students in Class IX and Class X is less in government schools situated in urban areas than the ones in suburban areas and villages.
The information stated that “at least 438 students got admission in Class IX at GMSSS-56 in 2014-15. In the next year, 329 out of 438 were able to get admission in Class X. In 2018-19, at least 349 students got admission in Class IX and in 2019-20, 267 students out of 349 were able to enroll themselves in Class X.” Similarly, Government Model High School (GMHS), Kajheri, reported 133 admission in Class IX in 2014-15 and merely 73 out of 133 managed to get admission in Class X in 2015-16. In 2018-19, a total 150 students were enrolled in Class IX and the next year, 48 students failed to get admission in Class X in 2019-20. The total admissions were 102 at GMHS, Kajheri in 2019-20.
At GMSSS, Maloya, 130 students took admission in GMSSS, Maloya, in 2016-17 and next year, merely 79 students were admitted in Class X at the school. In 2018-19 too, 126 students were enrolled in Class IX, but only 78 students were admitted in Class X next year.
However, contrarily, Government Model High School in Sector 34, which is an urban area, witnessed a different trend. The number of admissions in Class X were higher than the previous years’ admissions in Class IX. In 2016-17, 49 students were admitted in Class IX in the school, whereas, the number of admissions in Class X in 2017-18 was 88.
Assistant Professor at Community Education and Disability Studies, PU, Md Saifur Rehman said, “Family and parental background plays an important role behind this alarming trend. Generally, students below the poverty line study in the government schools situated in these specific areas. Lack of proper assessment of academic caliber of students in government schools is another reason.”
Social activist Parmod Kumar termed this an alarming trend. He said, “I have worked extensively at Bapu Dham Colony (BDC) in Sector 26, which adjoins the government school GMSSS, Sector 26 (police lines). A majority of this colony’s students enroll themselves at the Police Lines-26 school. I have observed over the years that the number of girls drop-outs is higher than the boys in this particular school. I personally believe, similar trend exists at other government schools as well. The schools situated at colony areas, villages and especially peripheral villages are most vulnerable to this trend. There is also no solid mechanism to track the drop out students.”
Director Higher Education, Chandigarh, Rubinderjit Singh Brar said: “It is an alarming trend. The assessment of students from early classes especially from Class 5 and 8 is the need of the hour. A proposal for the annual exam of Class V and Class VIII students in government schools was sent to the central government. We have decided to review the overall number of drop out students in government schools. This will help in improving the learning standards and competitive attitude in the students from early classes. Moreover, we have started waiving off the fee in Class IX and Class X to some extent in government schools to discourage drop-out due to financial reasons.”
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