After classes, school admissions in Mumbai move online
With the Covid-19 outbreak, school admissions in the city this year are going digital with everything from application forms to school tours being done virtually. Most private schools in Mumbai begin the admissions process between December and February for the following academic year.
While state board schools reopen in June, most schools following the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) begin their new academic year in April.
“Last year, we had organised an orientation for all parents where their queries could be addressed and they could see the school at the same time. This time however, due to the current situation, we have decided to schedule this online. We’ll keep the entire admission process online,” said Rohan Bhat, chairperson, Children’s Academy Group of schools which runs schools in Kandivli and Malad.
At Orchids - The International schools, parents have been given time slots to choose from and they can access the school’s online classes through the web app Zoom. To ensure the child also experiences the teaching methods, a sample material (like a text book or notes) is being sent by email ahead of the class. School tours for parents are also being conducted virtually.
“It is understandable since most parents are working from home now, that they may not find the time to attend [classes] during the weekday. For such parents, we give access to weekend hobby classes or the evening extra classes. It helps them understand the kind of help students receive beyond regular teaching,” said Beena Nayaken, principal, Orchids - The International School, Masjid Bunder.
Several schools are also offering student and staff testimonials and videos on demand.
“We are offering parents videos to get an idea about the school infrastructure and the teaching at our schools. Similarly, we have organised online counselling sessions for students to get admission-related help easily,” said Prajodh Rajan, co-founder and CEO of EuroKids International.
Despite these initiatives, schools said some parents still wish to see the school premises in person.“Many parents want to see the infrastructure and other things so we allow them to come on a designated day after adhering to all the safety protocols,” said Bhat.
Some parents who had earlier planned to change their children’s schools are now considering postponing that move by a year.
“I wanted to send my daughter to another school from Class 1 but we have decided to continue with the current school for now. With the scare around the virus, we are anyway not going to send her to school soon. So it makes sense to make the switch maybe a year later,” said Shraddha Atrey, a Nerul-based parent.