1.6 lakh students move from private to government schools - ECAS Punjab

1.6 lakh students move from private to government schools

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Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News service

Chandigarh, September 6

With several private schools closing down during the trying times of Covid-19, approximately 1.60 lakh students have enrolled in government schools in the ongoing session.

The unspecified number of private schools, in this category, included those with marginal infrastructure, average standards of teaching faculty and students from poor financial backgrounds. Owner of a school based in Mansa said: "We are heavily dependent on fees from students to pay our staff. We are unable to hold any classes under present circumstances."

Official figures released on August 23 showed that as many as 1,60,372 private school students shifted to government schools recently. Besides, there has been a significant increase in fresh admissions in pre-school classes of government schools as well. As many as 3,27,906 students have enrolled this session as against 2,25,565 last year.

Kamal Sharma, a senior secondary schoolteacher in Hoshiarpur, said: "We accept that certain private schools have state-of-the-art facilities, but there has been a mentionable upgrade in the facilities available in government schools, particularly availability of computers. This has been one of the major reasons for more students shifting to government schools."

Offering a different point of view, Dr Ashwani Bhalla, president, Punjab Commerce and Management Association, said: "The picture is not as rosy as is being portrayed for government schools. Our assessment at the ground level has shown that government schools are just loading lessons on Whatsapp groups. Classes need innovation. A sizable number of students don't have the mobile services at all."

A parent, whose son studies in a private school in Bathinda, said: "The authorities said the school will open only when the situation was back to normal. When we went to the government school in our village, we were more than satisfied."

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