Financial strain a trigger, as many hop from private schools to government ones in GurugramUpdated: Oct 15, 2020, 23:21 IST
Prince Panchal, a student of Class 9, was at the Model Government Senior Secondary School in sector 4/7 on Thursday, for the first time in almost two months, after switching over from a private school in Rajendra Park area.
Dressed immaculately in a uniform – white shirt and blue trousers – 15-year-old Panchal was one among the many students who had come for regular classed that recommenced at government schools from Thursday.
Panchal had hismother Krishna Devi, who recently lost her husband as well as her job during the lockdown phase, in tow. “It was getting difficult to pay private school fees. As we have limited sources of livelihood now, I had to shift my son to a government school so that he did not miss a year,” said Devi.
Likewise, at the government senior secondary school for boys near old Civil Hospital, Lalita Sharma had come with her son Priyanshu, a newly enrolled Class 9 student, on Thursday, the first day of the classroom sessions. “Priyanshu had to be shifted from a private school in Jharsa to a government school nearby as we couldn’t afford the fees and his father is not getting his full salary these days. There are other expenditures of the family which cannot be handled if we kept paying private school fees,” said Sharma.
Thursday was the first time students, who had switched over from private schools to government ones mostly due to financial constraints in their family , visited their new schools.
Gurugram, like neighbouring Delhi, has been witnessing an uptick in students migrating from private to government schools. Suman Sharma, principal of Model Government Senior Secondary School in sector 4/7 said that 425 students from private schools had recently enrolled with them. Of the these, 412 have already submitted their School Leaving Certificates (SLCs).
Likewise, in a government school near old Civil Hospital, 196 students had switched from private schools. “School fee payment has been the key issue that triggered the switch. The numbers are significantly high this time, compared to previous years,” said Sharma.
Data released by the education department in July end showed that 43,000 students across the state had already taken admissions in government schools and over 82,000 were awaiting their School Leaving Certificates (SLCs). In Gurugram, at least 2453 students had migrated to government schools. When HT approached the district education officer Indu Boken for the revised data, she was unavailable for the comment.
Teachers, however, worried that managing increased student load in a batch would be challenging as they were not allowed to call students of a class together to school. According to them, many existing and new students were not even active during virtual classes, which was a cause of concern.
According to them, nearly 25% students are have not been active during online classes. “These kids either lack phones/computers. Some are in the process of submitting their SLCs. Therefore, for regular classes, our focus has been on those who are not active online and those who have recently switched from private schools,” said Geeta Arya of senior secondary school near old Civil Hospital.