In the past five years, enrolment in municipal schools has dropped by around nine per cent aggregate, or around 40,000 students per year. This is one of the key findings of a Praja Foundation white paper released on Monday.
Other findings include that 42 per cent of parents are dissatisfied by the quality of education in BMC schools. Praja Foundation is an NGO that studies the status of education in municipal schools every year. The findings of the NGO have been more or less same every year, with the percentage of dropouts in municipal schools rising gradually.
According to the report, Marathi medium schools have shown the sharpest decline in enrolments in 2014-15 (-19.50%) followed by Tamil medium schools (-15.31%). Only English medium schools have shown a rise in enrolments of 14.77 per cent.
The medium-wise dropouts had 13 students per 100 drop out in 2014-15 as compared to 12 last year and nine the year before that. "The number of students enrolling in Std I of MCGM schools has been steadily declining between 2008-09 and 2014-15. In the past seven years, enrolments have gone down by 38 per cent," the report states.
Commenting on the matter, Nitai Mehta, managing trustee of Praja Foundation said, "Going by the current trend, the day is not far when municipal schools will have more staff than students."
Surprisingly, all government schools have separate toilets for boys and girls according to the report, although only 88.90% have a playground. In municipal schools, the figures stand exactly the same.
Talking about the discontent among parents, Milind Mhaske, project director, said "There have been no significant efforts from our elected representatives to deliberate more on issues of education. Over 166 corporators have not asked a single question on education between 2014-15. Only 61 have asked questions related to education. In spite of the high dropout rates in municipal schools, councillors have asked only three questions. There are four MLAs who have not asked any question on education."