Many Delhi government schools might be over-crowded but those in New Delhi area are witnessing a steady dip in the number of students.
At Government Boys Senior Secondary School (GBSSS) Number 3, which runs classes 6-12, enrolment has come down by 35% in the last six years. At least five other schools in the area are facing this peculiar problem. School administrators say, people in the neighbourhood are mostly government employees who can afford private schools for their children.
Reasons for low enrolment
There are schools in the city where one teacher has up to 100 students in a class. But at GBSSS Number 3, the teacher-student ratio is 1:19 — much lower than 1:30 as mandated by the Right to Education Act 2009.
There are 531 students in the school this year compared to 683 in 2015. “In 2010-11, we had 837 students. The number has been decreasing every year also because there are no feeder schools. NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) schools in our area have been upgraded till class XII,” said principal Sansari Lal Sharma.
Similarly, in GBSSS Number 4 in Sarojini Nagar, which runs classes 6-12, 579 students were enrolled this year.
“Most students from Class 9 onwards come from far-off areas but parents don’t allow younger students to travel that much. My school has 98% students from distant areas in secondary and senior school and they change many buses to reach here,” said principal Hitender Yadav.
Government schools allow admission to students living within a 3 km radius and students. To admit students living farther away, permission is needed from the zonal deputy director education.
“The process of getting permission is tedious and needs to be eased out,” said Yadav.
At Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Sarvodya Bal Vidyalaya No 1 nearby, which has classes from Class 1 to 12, the number of students is relatively higher at 976. But principal Krishan Pal Singh said that most students come from far- off areas like Badarpur, Madanpur Khadar, Faridabad and Greater Noida.
Sources said that the government is planning to resolve the crisis and allow students from over-crowded schools to get admission in schools with low enrollment.
Many principals said the government should resolve the problem of commuting. “Most students come here from border areas where there are resettlement colonies. The government can start direct buses from those areas to schools here,” suggested Sharma.
Yadav said the government can even offer discount on bus fares to students. “DTC is owned by the government. They can offer some sort of rebate to students on the fare. Some students travel four hours every day to come here as they have to change buses,” he said.
Sharma said, “If students move here it will help in reducing the burden of schools in border areas where the population is higher.”
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