Nearly 50% dip in private school enrollments in Haryana this year

As per the figures provided by the Haryana education department, 89,138 private school students moved to government schools during the academic session 2021-22. Last year (2020-21), around 1.46 lakh students had made the switch.
The education department’s data further shows that as many as 19.95 lakh students have been enrolled in the state’s government schools this year while the figure stood at 21.78 lakh last year. (HT FILE)
The education department’s data further shows that as many as 19.95 lakh students have been enrolled in the state’s government schools this year while the figure stood at 21.78 lakh last year. (HT FILE)
Published on Jun 21, 2021 01:18 AM IST
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BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

For the second consecutive year, Haryana has seen a massive shift of students from private to government schools. As per the figures provided by the Haryana education department, 89,138 private school students moved to government schools during the academic session 2021-22. Last year (2020-21), around 1.46 lakh students had made the switch.

The education department’s data further shows that as many as 19.95 lakh students have been enrolled in the state’s government schools this year while the figure stood at 21.78 lakh last year. Private schools, on the other hand, have reported only 15.78 lakh new admissions this year, compared to 29.83 lakh last year. This is a 47% percent dip in enrollments at private schools this year.

Private schools, on the other hand, have reported only 15.78 lakh new admissions this year, compared to 29.83 lakh last year. This is a 47% percent dip in enrollments at private schools this year. (HT PHOTO)
Private schools, on the other hand, have reported only 15.78 lakh new admissions this year, compared to 29.83 lakh last year. This is a 47% percent dip in enrollments at private schools this year. (HT PHOTO)

What is drawing more kids to govt schools

A senior official, not wishing to be named, said, “We are expecting more students to shift from private to government schools by the end of this month. Not just do government schools provide education free of cost, but also offer better infrastructure as compared to private schools. Besides, students can also avail benefits such as mid-day meals here.”

The official added that parents of many students have been rendered jobless or are facing financial constraints due to the pandemic-induced lockdown. “At a time like this, some private schools are refusing to enroll students in the next class until the previous year’s dues are cleared. So, most parents are transferring their wards to government schools,” the official added.

“Besides, in view of the anticipated third wave, which is likely to hit children the most, it is unlikely that schools may open up any time soon. So, parents are enrolling their children in government schools, that are likely to be located close to their homes, than sending the kids to a private school located miles away,” he added.

On reports of private schools not issuing transfer certificates and other documents to students, the official said no school has the authority to deny documents to a student when she/he wants to move to another school.

Parent speak

Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Charkhi Dadri, said he shifted both his daughters to a government school as he lost his job at a private factory in Gurugram after the second wave.

“It became difficult for me to run the house. So I decided to move my kids to a government school. There is uncertainty over the opening of schools and further the private school, where my children were previously enrolled, had refused to reduce the fee even when schools are closed,” Kumar added.

A rough patch for private schools

Two private school owners –one from Hisar and another from Bhiwani – requesting anonymity, said with no sign of schools opening up, they have hit a rough patch.

“It has been nearly one-and-a-half year since we have not had physical classes. Some parents told us that they have been sending their children don’t gauge much during online classes so they have had to send them for tuitions. So they ask us why they should pay the full school fee,” one of the private school owners said.

Another owner said, “Some parents are also unwilling to pay the fee as they feel that when children are not physically visiting the school, why should they pay charges such as library fee etc. But what the parents don’t understand is that we still have to bear the maintenance charges regardless of whether these services are being used. For instance, we had bought buses on loan. When parents refuse to pay the full fee, we struggle to pay off the installments.”

Edu minister lauds govt schools

Meanwhile, Haryana education minister Kanwar Pal Gurjar applauded the teachers and educational staff for increasing enrollments in government schools for the second year in a row.

“This year, Class 10 and 12 exams were cancelled but last year, both the toppers in Haryana board’s Class 12 exams were from government schools. We have started online classes on Edusat and local cable TV channels free of cost. We have also decided to provide laptops to students so that they can access online education if a third wave hits the state,” the education minister added.

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