The municipal schools in Ahmedabad have been able to achieve a little more than half of the target set by it for the student enrolment in Class I this year. Against the target of 30,000 fresh admissions,the authorities could enrol only 16,562 students over a months period. This is almost 10,000 less than the previous year.
The statewide three-day enrolment drive might have concluded on June 30 but not for the city municipal schools.
A special review meeting held on Monday decided that now the authorities will carry out a grassroots level drive for slums and BPL families in the city.
As per the records available with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation,there are 1.66 lakh BPL families and 700 slums across the city. These areas have been identified and will be targeted during the week-long extensive counselling by the principals,teachers,School Management Committees (SMCs),representatives of cluster resource centre and supervisors,who would be visiting these places, said Municipal School Board administrative officer L D Desai.
Board chairman Jagdish Bhavsar said that once these children are enroled,efforts will be made to provide quality education to them. Teachers will be required to spend more time with the students of lower primary schools that includes from Class I till V, he said.
Following a lackluster response to the enrolment drive,the authorities recently relaxed the norm of birth date of the applicant,which they had earlier fixed as June 1,2007. The date has been extended to August 31,which is also the last date of admission. There is also a scope of further extension till September 14,in special cases.
Surprisingly,even during the three-day Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani drives,only 2,000 children were enroled across the city.
This is expected to result in reduction of 464 municipal schools as well. For,schools with less strength are merged together by the board.
Among the major reasons identified and cited by the board authorities during the pre-enrolment drive carried out in February and March included infrastructure development projects.
For instance,projects like Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project and Bus Rapid Transit System led to eviction of slums from across the city. Subsequently,this not only resulted in drop in enrolment to schools but also school dropouts.