Ahmedabad: No takers for English medium schools this year, says AMC board

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From one in 2013, the number rose to 33 in 2019. However, this time it has no mention in the AMC school board budget for 2020-21. (Represnetational Image)

Citing no demand, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation School Board said it has no plans to open any more English medium municipal school in 2020-’21. However, the board announced that 10 new hi-tech schools would come up, while 25 existing ones would be converted into smart schools. These would be ready before the start of new academic session of June, 2020.

Aimed at curtailing declining enrollment, in 2013, the board decided to focus on opening English medium schools in the city. Out of 387, the school board at present runs 33 English medium schools in the city.

From one in 2013, the number rose to 33 in 2019. However, this time it has no mention in the AMC school board budget for 2020-21. Over the last few years, the board’s major stress was on opening English medium schools citing demand from the lower middle-class and economically weaker section of the society. This demand was based on several surveys that were conducted to identify the reason for declining student enrollment in municipal schools.

“We have not received any demand for English medium schools this year. However, we are undertaking a survey of children who have completed the age of five years and are out of school. This campaign to be completed on March 31 is to evaluate areas that require a new school,” said AMC school board Administrative Officer L D Desai.

However, Congress school board member claimed he had submitted a request for new English medium schools in Shahpur, Behrampura, Danilimda and Jamalpur. “We have received a feedback that parents in these areas want English medium schools for the children. But the BJP-ruled school board does not find it worth discussing,” said Congress board member Ilyas Qureshi.

In the revised budget proposed by chairman D J Tomar, he has included provisions for various projects, including swachh abhiyan, making the city plastic-free, heritage awareness, and painting municipal schools in an ‘universal colour’ to give it an identity.

With these projects, the revised school board budget stands at Rs 698 crore from the earlier Rs 673 crore for the year 2019-’20.