UT plans 5K more seats for kids to shift from pvt to govt schools

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTCHANDIGA­RH - Sr­ishti Jaswal sr­ishti.jaswal@htlive.com

MOVE COMES IN WAKE OF RE­QUESTS BY KIDS’ PAR­ENTS, SEEK­ING SCHOOL CHANGE AMID ECO­NOMIC SLOW­DOWN

CHANDIGARH : The UT ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment is plan­ning to cre­ate 5,000 ad­di­tional seats for stu­dents will­ing to move from pri­vate to gov­ern­ment schools in this aca­demic year, said Ru­binder­jit Singh Brar, di­rec­tor, school ed­u­ca­tion, on Sun­day.

The move comes in the wake of hordes of re­quests by par­ents of chil­dren study­ing in pri­vate schools, seek­ing school change amid the eco­nomic slow­down due to the Covid-19 pan­demic.

There are 114 gov­ern­ment schools in Chandigarh, of which 40 are at the se­nior-sec­ondary level. Around 1.4 lakh stu­dents are en­rolled in th­ese schools, ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment fig­ures re­veal.

Sources said sev­eral par­ents had ap­proached the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment seek­ing clar­ity on the ad­mis­sion process if they shifted their wards from pri­vate schools, as it had be­come dif­fi­cult for them to pay the hefty fees.

“My wife lost her job due to the lock­down. How will we man­age our house­hold ex­penses if we pay Rs 4,000 per month as tu­ition fee to my son’s school?” asked Su­labh Ku­mar, whose son is a stu­dent at a Sec­tor-38 school.

For over a month, par­ents across Chandigarh have been protest­ing out­side var­i­ous schools de­mand­ing fee waiver.

While the UT ad­min­is­tra­tion had ear­lier di­rected schools to de­fer fee col­lec­tion, it had later per­mit­ted col­lec­tion of only tu­ition fees. This was fol­lowed by a flurry of com­plaints to UT’s fee reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity, al­leg­ing over­charg­ing by schools dur­ing the lock­down.

DSE Brar said, “We are work­ing out the de­tails of a spe­cial ad­mis­sion cam­paign. We may set up an on­line cen­tralised plat­form for a few schools with low en­rol­ment. Par­ents will be able to short­list three schools.”

Brar said many par­ents had raised queries about fees, ad­mis­sions in Class 9 and neigh­bour­hood pol­icy un­der the Right to Ed­u­ca­tion Act. “We wish to en­rol around 5,000 fresh stu­dents this aca­demic year,” he said, adding that the ini­tia­tive was await­ing the nod of se­nior of­fi­cials.

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