Enrolment in Mumbai’s BMC-run schools has dropped by 50 percent since 2008-09, says Praja report

Enrolment of students in primary classes of schools run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has dropped for the seventh consecutive year, with the last academic year registering half the enrolments observed eight years ago, a report by Praja Foundation on the state of municipal education in Mumbai revealed.

Enrolment to Class I in BMC schools have fallen from 63,392 in 2008-09 to 32,218 in 2016-17, according to the report, and if the trend continues, the number will drop to 16,275 by the year 2020-21.

Total enrolment in all grades has also fallen for the fifth consecutive year, with the previous academic year registering a drop of 24 percent when compared to the enrolment numbers in 2008-09. This figure is expected to worsen to 49 percent in 2020-21.

Representational image. Getty images

Representational image. Getty images

However, number of dropouts have come down by almost 50 percent since the previous year, with 29,186 cases registered in 2016-17 versus 57,788 in 2015-16. A fall in dropout rates was witnessed across English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati and Kannada mediums in 2016-17.

The highest dropout percentage was seen in Hindi medium (11.95 percent), which also recorded the most number of enrolments. In a comparison between BMC and other (private, private-aided and unrecognised) schools, the report observed that the number of BMC school students appearing for SSC exam has increased from March 2016 to March 2017, whereas the same number for private schools has relatively fallen.

However, the percentage of BMC school students who passed the exam dropped from 77 percent in March 2016 to 69 percent in March 2017, while the corresponding figures for private school students see a rise from 85 percent in March 2016 to 92 percent in March 2017, dramatically increasing the percentage gap between BMC and private schools in this regard.

Other indicators of students' performance including scholarships were also rated as poor in municipal schools when compared to other schools. The annual municipal budget for education has also consistently dropped since 2014-15, from Rs 2,773 crore to Rs 2,454 crore allocated for the year 2017-18.

The report also states that out of a total of 183 questions asked by BMC councillors on education in official meetings, more questions were asked on naming of schools than on dropout rates.

It adds that 167 councillors did not ask any question on education. Out of 959 questions asked by Mumbai MLAs on education, only 5 were related to dropout rates.

Among the suggestions offered by Praja Foundation to improve the state of education in Mumbai, the report says the government has to work on accountability. "Education department must present an annual report on its achievements and learnings with all the key performance/outcome indicators and also share all its data on an open platform in a raw format," it says.

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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 13:12:22 IST

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