SDMC school enrolment falls by 17,000 this year

New Delhi. : The enrollment rate of students in primary classes of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) schools continued to decline with 17,535 fewer students being enrolled in the 2017-18 session compared to 2016-17, according to the figures released by the civic body.

The number of students enrolled in 2017-18 is 2,48,297; as compared to 2,65,832 in 2016-17; and 2015-16 the enrolment was at 2,76,901; in 2014-15 the enrolment was 2,93,436; in 2013-14 it was 3,02,832 while in 2012-13 it was 3,20,688.

Corporation schools offer primary education till Class V. The enrolment rate for Nursery classes, however, has shown a considerable rise for the first time in five years with 17,536 students enrolled in 2017-18 as compared to 15,882 in 2016-17.

Earlier, the Nursery enrolment rate was showing a declining trend for past five years with 17,450 enrolled in 2012-13, 16,730 students in 2013-14; 15,533 in 2014-15; 15,820 in 2015-16; and 15,882 in 2016-17.

A senior SDMC official said, “Although facilities have been increased in corporation schools; ever since the Delhi government schools began admitting students Nursery onwards, parents prefer to get their wards admitted to government schools as they want them to complete their education from one institution only.”

He said the student-teacher ratio at corporation schools is weak, affecting the quality of education. “Private schools are also admitting students from EWS/DG category under the RTE Act, taking away a share of students who would earlier take admission in MCD schools,” the official said.

The SDMC has started initiatives in the past two years to contain the decreasing enrolment rate, including smart classes, better desks and benches; it had announced several new measures such as extra classes, computer classes, English lessons and holding street plays.

Director (Education), SDMC, Mona Srinivasan, said enrolment in Nursery classes has increased since last year when the civic body started admitting students above three years of age, unlike earlier when only those above four years were admitted.

Officials said the number of Nursery schools has also increased by over 50 in the past five years. There are 581 schools under SDMC, of which 329 have Nursery facilities.