It’s good, it’s free: Kids crowd government schools in Chennai after epidemic – Times of India

Private school students are flocking to English medium government primary schools on the outskirts of the city. Government primary and secondary schools across the state have added more than four lakh students in the last few years, and migration is mainly taking place in semi-urban areas.

Most of them are workers, drivers, electricians, employees of private companies, day laborers and children of shop owners who could not pay private school fees due to the lockdown. Semi-urban education blocks like Mount, Kattankolathur and Vilivakkam have registered 100% more admissions in 2021 than in 2019. Schools now conduct classes on alternate days

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Mohammad Nias, a resident of Medavakkam who supplies stationery at the store, said his income had dropped since the school closed during the lockdown and he could not afford to pay for his children’s fees at a private school. “I transferred them to a government primary school. The teachers here pay personal attention to them, ”he said. Valli, a guardian of Mannivakkam, said her husband, a truck driver, was out of work and could not pay the annual fee of Rs 64,000 for her two children. We have decided to transfer them to a government school and we are happy with the decision, “he said.

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Jansi Rani D, headmistress of Panchayat Union Primary School (PUPS) in Mannivakkam, said her school has added 300 students from private schools this year.

“Many parents cite loss of livelihood as the reason,” he said. Following an official order, schools are admitting students with Aadhaar card and birth certificate without insisting on transfer certificate.

Medavakkam’s Panchayat Union Primary School has become the most populous primary school in the state with 1,900 students. The number of admissions here increased from 445 in 2019-20 to 922 in 2021-22, and 99% of them were from private schools in Sholinganallur, Pallavaram, Nanmangalam Medavakkam, Perumbakkam, Sembalkam, Jalladianpet and Kovilambakkam. According to the teachers, English medium is one of the main attractions for parents. The school also values ​​hygiene.

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Headmistress G Umamaheshwari said, “35 teachers pay 500 rupees for hiring a sanitary worker to keep the toilets clean.”

More students means more demand. Medavakkam School needs 15 more teachers and 15 more classrooms, one in Mannivakkam, where the number of students has increased from 325 to 750, needs nine additional classrooms and more teachers. “We provided chairs and tables for all the students through a donor before the epidemic. Now it will be difficult to provide separate tables and chairs for each student, ”said Jansi Rani.

Alapakkam PUPS has added 500 students to Maduravoal, bringing the number of students to 768. School education officials say the number of schools, with more than 300 students, has risen from 260 to 1,327 since the epidemic.

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