Updated: July 23, 2021 12:21:47 pm
For the first time in over 10 years, schools run by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) have recorded a sharp rise in the number of students enrolling.
Across the 281 schools run by the corporation in the city, over 1,01,757 students have enrolled for the current academic year (2021-2022), reported The Hindu. The last time that the strength increased to more than one lakh was in the 2010-2011 academic year.
After 2010, the number dropped every year, before rising again to 88,084 last year.
The admission process began in GCC schools in mid-June, and so far the schools have seen 27,311 new enrolments.
P.K Illamaran, President of Tamil Nadu Teacher’s Association, said that the increase in enrolment of students this year can be attributed to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic, many parents were unable to afford the fees of private schools, especially when private schools continued to charge uniform and van fees even when students did not attend in-person classes,” he said.
“Parents realised this and felt that instead of paying that a huge amount of fee to a private school, they would put their kids to a government school that gives them the same education,” Illamaran said.
Illamaran felt that the door-to-door campaigns and spot-admissions done by teachers and officials of the corporation schools made a difference in the enrolment numbers.
Though the schools were not functioning, Illamaran said that the routine inspections by Corporation Commissioner Gangandeep Singh Bedi and senior officials in schools to improve the infrastructure of the schools also led to a rise in number of students enrolling in schools.
“The corporation officials have made sure that the infrastructure of the school improves, including making sure that the every school has smart classes, hi-tech labs and toilet facilities put in place. Parents see this and are happy to put their kids in schools that are improving,” he added.
The Corporation has been implementing the Smart City project to improve the infrastructure of schools.
The admission process in corporation schools is open till the end of August and Illamaran is sure that by the time the process finishes, the number will rise to 1.10 lakh.
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