Updated: February 16, 2021 1:09:14 am
Admissions in class VI in Delhi government schools this year have dipped by 7% as compared to previous years, senior officials in the education department said.
Each year, an average of 2.18 lakh children from municipal schools as well as from some aided and unaided private schools take admission in Delhi government schools. Of these, close to 1.7 lakh come from the municipal school system.
In Delhi, schooling comes under the Delhi government and civic bodies. While corporation-run schools can only impart education up to class V, Delhi government schools can start from nursery and go on till class XII.
For many years now, children from MCD schools are transferred to Delhi government schools fairly seamlessly, with authorities on the two sides coordinating the transfer. However, because of the pandemic last year, and the break in the established systems, over 15,000 children seem to have gone out of the system.
“The number of new joinees in Delhi government schools in class VI has dipped by 7% — over 15,000. Most of these are those children who would have joined from municipal schools. We believe this is because of disruption during the pandemic as schools were shut and many parents did not know how to coordinate the transfer. We are making efforts to contact the children and ensure that no one is left out,” said a senior official who works on school policy in the Delhi government.
Worries about the way the pandemic has affected the lives of children, especially those whose parents had to leave the city after losing their jobs, and those who did not have devices at home to continue learning online, have been raised by several government officials and education experts.
Till mid-2020, the number of children who weren’t in contact with school authorities or teachers at all was around 20%. Teachers then set out to reach as many children as they could, in case they could not be contacted via phone.
“Teachers went to the missing students’ houses in an effort to bring them back into the fold. A number of children were contacted this way; in some cases, teachers spent their own money to help get them phones so they could attend classes. After this drive, the number of children who are not in contact dropped. According to our latest figures, the weekly attendance for children in kindergarten through Class X is around 97.5%, and that for classes XI and XII is around 93%-94%,” the official said.
This attendance includes attending classes or taking and sending worksheets — either from school or online.
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