December 20, 2014 5:09:14 am
The relaxation of rules to start self-financed schools has led to a mushrooming of schools and most of them are tilted towards affiliation with boards other than the state board (SSC).
English medium schools are in vogue even in the rural landscape, overthrowing the penchant for Marathi medium. Schools with state board syllabus are on the verge of extinction.
The numbers tell the tale of diminishing Marathi schools. No new Marathi medium school was sanctioned for academic year 2015-16 in Pune.
More than 70 per cent of schools allowed to be opened next year is aiming at affiliation with boards other than the state board.
Self-financed schools got a boost in 2013-14. Anybody with the required space and infrastructure mentioned under the Right To Education Act, 2009, is eligible to open a school but cannot apply for government grant at any time, even in future.
For 2013-14 academic year, the government sanctioned 19 Marathi medium and 43 English medium schools. Of the total applicants for Marathi medium 43 were not approved. The number of English medium schools screened out of the applicants’ list was 164.
In 2014-15, the Primary education department sanctioned 13 new Marathi medium schools and 65 English medium schools. As many as 13 applications for Marathi schools and 103 for English medium schools were struck down.
“In both years, the government did not collect data on whether schools were opening SSC board or any other board. When applications were invited for 2015-16, we asked schools to furnish data on which board they would be affiliated to.
When the data came in we realised that over 70 per cent of schools other boards like Central Board of Secondary Education, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).
Although we have not graded them into the most in-demand board, I think most of the schools opted for CBSE board,” said Pradeep Desai, Superintendent, Zilla Parishad Primary Education Department.
For academic year 2015-16, the government sanctioned 116 new English medium schools and denied permission to 108. “This time we did not invite applications for Marathi medium schools as there was no demand.
Of the 116 new schools, more than 70 to 75 percent are for boards other than state board. There is a preference for English medium.
People even in rural areas want to send their children to CBSE schools, and they do not mind the cost. This is reflected in the number of new proposals for schools coming in,” added Desai.
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