COVID-19 effect: Number of pre-primary students falls in Aurangabad schools
The number of students in the pre-primary classes of civic-run schools in Aurangabad city in Maharashtra has come down, mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. "The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) runs 72 schools (of Marathi and Urdu medium) in the city," Ramnath Thore, who is Civic Education Officer, told PTI on Monday. Here are more details.
3,500 students were enrolled in pre-primary classes in 2018-2019
"In 2018-19, the number of students in the pre-primary classes (for Kindergarten education of children in the age group of three to six years) of these schools was 3,500, which came down to 2,953 in 2019-20 and fell further to 2,375 in 2020-21," Thore said.
Statistical comparison of different classes between 2018-2021
Thore also informed, "The number of students in Classes I to VIII was 12,393 in 2018-19, and it came down to 10,838 in 2020-21. But, for the 2021-22 academic session, the number has now gone up to 11,829." The official also informed that the strength of Classes IX and X reached 1,903 in 2020-21, as compared to 1,777 in 2018-19 and 1,300 in 2019-20.
COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed the situation: AMC Commissioner
Asked about the fall in the number of students in pre-primary classes, AMC Commissioner Astik Kumar Pandey said the COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed the situation. "Admission to pre-primary classes is optional and parents don't want to take chances. Secondly, migration is also a key issue as people might think that shifting to rural areas could be a safer option during the pandemic," he added.
Private schools also seeing a fall in number of students
Pandey also said that they have plans to encourage people to enroll their children in pre-primary classes, but that will be implemented after the situation normalizes. "Private schools are also facing a similar situation," informed Nayana Awhad, Headmistress of a private educational institution in Aurangabad.
Financial constraints, no access to online classes a reason
"Parents feel their children's education won't be affected if they do not join the school for a year. Some of them have withdrawn admissions due to financial problems, while some cannot arrange for online classes for their children," Awhad said. Thore, however, said that they are hopeful that more students will get enrolled in the pre-primary classes in the new academic session.
Private schools in Haryana have also seen a dip
Noticeably, in a similar situation, Haryana has also seen a 42% dip in enrollments at the private schools compared to last year as at least 12.51 lakh private school students failed to register for the current academic year even three months after it commenced. Alarmed over the development, Haryana's Directorate of School Education (DSE) expressed apprehensions that these "missing" students could have dropped out.