BBMP schools and colleges see record rise in admissions

Over 25,000 students have enrolled, though civic body has capacity to support only 18,000

The reopening of physical classes in schools is proving to be a novel challenge to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The civic body is faced with the problem of plenty, given an increase in the number of admissions to the educational institutions it runs.

The BBMP runs 91 nursery (pre-primary), 16 primary and 33 high schools, 16 pre-university colleges and five-degree colleges. This year, the number of admissions is upwards of 25,000, though the current infrastructure can support only around 18,000 students. Enrollment is likely to rise as the admission process to pre-primary schools that reopened only on November 8 is still under way.

Apart from the shortage of teachers, the schools and colleges do not have the required infrastructure to support these many enrollments. “The current infrastructure can support only 18,000 students. Enrollment in primary schools has increased considerably when compared to pre-COVID times,” siad Umesh B.S., BBMP Assistant Commissioner (Education), told The Hindu.

Citing the example of the primary school in Maruthi Mandir ward, he said there were over 600 students in classes I to VII. “We do not have enough classrooms to accommodate the students. We have borrowed three classrooms from the Government high school,” he said. Similar problems are faced in schools in Byraveshwaranagar, Cleveland Town, Magadi Road, Panchasheelanagar, Herohalli and Mahalakshmi Layout.

Civic officials attributed the increase in attendance to parents unable to afford private schools due to salary cuts or job loss. Some private schools are also closing down, said Mr. Umesh. “It is a fact that there is a drop in the number of admissions to private schools. We are not rejecting any enrolment to our institutions,” he claimed.

Since the schools re-opened, around 90% attendance was recorded in pre-university colleges, 80% in high schools and over 55% in primary schools. “We will know the attendance and enrollment rates in pre-primary only after a couple of weeks,” he said.

However, though the schools have reopened, the civic body is yet to distribute uniforms, shoes, notebooks to the students. “We have already distributed the textbooks. The process to procure the required number of uniforms, shoes and notebooks has already been initiated and we will be able to distribute it to the students next month,” he stated.

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