STUDENT ENROLLMENT in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run schools in the city has seen an increase of 6 per cent during the pandemic period. The number of students enrolled in 2018-19 was 3,00,746, which went up to 3,18,002 in 2021-22. The enrollment figures were revealed in a white paper on the state of municipal education in Mumbai that was released by Praja Foundation, an NGO, on Monday.
According to the report, while there is an overall increase in student enrollment at civic schools in Mumbai, the English-medium schools have seen the most gains with just 79,884 enrollments in 2018-19 that shot up to 1,01,110 in 2021-22 registering a 27 per cent increase.
In comparison, the Marathi-medium schools run by the BMC saw the lowest gain in students with 50,677 enrollments in 2018-19 to 51,691 enrollments in 2021-22 registering a mere 2 per cent jump.
Of the total enrollments in all city schools, the BMC-run schools recorded the highest proportion in 2021-22 at 42 per cent compared to 2018-19 when the private unaided schools had the highest share of student enrollments at 41 per cent.
“The data shows an increase in enrollment at civic schools compared to private unaided schools, which have been preferred by urban parents over the years. However, the financial crisis witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic, is the primary reason for this shift and we anticipate that the enrollment numbers will experience a decline again in the next year’s report,” said Milind Mhaske, CEO of Praja Foundation.
He pointed out that comparative data of the past 10 years shows only 40 per cent (18,781 out of 46,913) of BMC school students enrolled in Class I in 2012-13 continued their education up to Class X in 2021-22.
The Praja Foundation has been releasing a white paper on the status of municipal education in the city for several years and this year’s data showed a comparison of the past 10 years. An important aspect of these reports has been the amount spent on students by the civic body.
The estimated and actual expenditure per student at the BMC-run schools has doubled in the past decade according to the report. The BMC has allocated Rs 1 lakh as the estimated budget per student for the financial year 2022-23. Whereas, the actual expenditure in 2021-22 was Rs 84,027 per student.
However, when it comes to providing services to students, the civic body is seen lagging compared with the private players. Only 26 per cent of students in BMC schools had their health check-ups done in 2021-22 compared to 75 per cent in 2018-19.