Pvt schools shunt 'weak' class 9 kids

More concerned about pass percentage

 Private schools in the capital have been shunting “weak” students off to government institutions so that their pass percentage in class 10 board exams remains intact, say senior officials with Directorate of Education.

“There is not enough space to accommodate these children in government schools,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

In May, the department made entrance test mandatory for admission to class 9 in government schools across the city, the official added.

Over 8,500 students have applied for the third round of tests to be held on August 19. The first set of tests took place on May 2 followed by July 23.

It is an hour-long test where the students are tested on their basic understanding of English, Hindi and Mathematics.

The DoE said the tests have been made compulsory because there has been a “spurt in the number of applicants”.

At present there are already 2.7 lakh students in class 9 in government schools across the city, said the official.

“Still more kids are wanting to get admitted to government schools,” the official added. While 2.15 lakh children are studying in class 6, there are 2.26 lakh kids in class 7.
The total strength of class 8 across all government schools is 2.18 lakh. In all there are 1,007 government schools in Delhi.

The DoE is in a fix as the department does not even have adequate number of teachers to teach these kids.

“We are already short by 20 per cent of the total strength of regular teachers,” said the official. “It will be a herculean task to educate students taking admission to class 9,” the official added.

Earlier private schools used to detain students in class 9 but now they have stopped admitting them in class 9, said the official.

Even some private schools’ principals echoed similar views. “There is no denying the fact that such a practice is prevalent in some of the private schools in the city,” said a principal of a prominent school.

“If a school teaches a student from nursery to class 8 and then refuses to give him admission in class 9 because he is not good in studies. Whose fault is it?” she said.
The schools cannot detain children till class 9 under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

A few school principals said that the RTE Act has made parents least interested in their child’s progress. “They know schools can’t detain students so they have stopped being as involved as they used to be,” said another principal of a private school.

“So one can’t put the blame entirely on the institution,” he added.
To check the ongoing malpractice of detaining students, the Central Board of Secondary Education has come out with a policy that a school cannot admit a kid in class 10 or class 12 without its approval.
DH News Service

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