The number of schools, run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), which has witnessed a decline in the last seven years, will further go down from the next academic session from June. There were 471 municipal schools in 2009-10, which came down to 455 in 2016-17. From the upcoming academic session, the number will further go down to 365.
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation School Board has merged as many as 90 schools running on the same campuses. The maximum number of affected schools (20) are in the city’s east zone.
While earlier, the board used to state “insufficient” number of students among the reasons for shutting down the schools, this time, it is in order to address the shortage of head teachers (principals) in the municipal schools.
The school board authorities claimed they would not only appoint head teachers at majority of schools, but also increase the number of periods from 39 to 45 a week and subsequently, 236 additional hours a year.
Despite the move, there still exists a shortage of 23 principals for upper primary schools.
“There was a shortage of nearly 200 head teachers. This will drop to 23 now. Also, many parents had requested the merger. Majority of schools will now run from 11 am to 5 pm, which will help the children avail their midday meal.
This will also match the working hours of the parents as most of them are daily wage labourers,” said AMC School Board administrative officer L D Desai.
With this change in effect, 104 schools will run from 7.30 am to 12.30 pm, 92 from 12.30 pm to 5.30 pm, maximum 157 from 11 am to 5 pm and 12 schools will function in both morning (7.30 am to 12.30 pm) and evening (12.30 pm to 5.30 pm) shifts.
As of now, the AMC School Board runs 455 schools in Gujarati, Hindi, English, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu mediums.
Despite various measures, the number of students has also reduced from 1.5 lakh to 1.4 lakh in last three years.
After losing its students to English medium private schools, the school board is now focusing on opening more English medium schools across the city.