CHENNAI: The number of new admissions to city corporation schools is higher this year, said officials from the Corporation’s Education department. This is because the financial crunch due to the pandemic has made many parents from economically-backward sections shift their children to Corporation schools.
Admissions to Corporation schools began on June 14 and will continue till the end of September. According to Corporation data, its schools have already registered 14,161 new admissions till Monday. Within 15 days, a whopping 9,035 students from non-Corporation schools (including private schools) have been admitted. The remaining 5,126 are from other Corporation schools. Last year, the city corporation admitteda total of 27,843 students, of which, 14,763 were from non-Corporation schools.
It is learnt that admissions in many schools, including the Corporation schools in Erukkanchery, Thana Street and Jones Road (Saidapet), are almost complete. Teachers and Corporation officials point out that parents who used to send their children to private schools can no longer afford them. “This is especially true for parents from the lower-middle class and economically-backward families. They used to save up money to put their children in private schools. In our schools, there are absolutely no charges, barring Rs 50 for PTA registration,” said a Corporation official.
Apart from this, the city Corporation is also briskly taking steps to improve admissions, and is conducting door-to-door awareness drives, under Deputy Commissioner (Education) D Sneha. Corporation school students are offered various options of higher education scholarships, up to Rs 45,000 a year.
“Corporation schools have ramped up their infrastructure. Parents see the smart classrooms and other basic amenities, such as clean toilets and drinking water, and are happy to enrol their children here. Now, people working in the government and IT sectors are opting to send their children to our schools,” said A Justin, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Elementary School Teachers Federation.