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Fear of fourth Covid wave? Private schools in Bengaluru say entry-level admissions down by 30%

Many families have migrated from Bengaluru and are unwilling to come back, strongly affecting entry-level admissions
Last Updated : 19 April 2022, 02:28 IST
Last Updated : 19 April 2022, 02:28 IST
Last Updated : 19 April 2022, 02:28 IST
Last Updated : 19 April 2022, 02:28 IST

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Many private budget schools in Bengaluru are struggling to enroll students for the upcoming academic year. Reason? Migration and speculations of a probable fourth wave of Covid-19.

Schools say entry-level enrolments for the 2022-23 academic have dropped by 20-30%. Inquiries about admissions have also come down considerably compared to the pre-Covid levels.

While schools will reopen on May 16 as per the schedule released by the Department of Public Instruction, many unaided schools fear they may not get enough student admissions.

Schools cite two reasons for the low enrolments. Firstly, many parents who migrated from Bengaluru during the pandemic due to the lockdown are yet to come back, and secondly, parents are dilly-dallying because of the possible fourth wave.

D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said some parents were just reluctant to enroll their children in schools.

“It is not that parents are facing financial issues. They are just reluctant and are speculating about the fourth wave, thus affecting the admissions,” he told DH. “As per our analysis, the decline is 20-30%.”

Karnataka has more than 19,000 private unaided schools affiliated with the state board. Ninety-eight per cent of them charge an annual fees between Rs 10,000 and Rs 40,000.

No inquiries this year

Oxford School, located in western Bengaluru’s Nagarabhavi, used to get a flood of inquiries during this time of the year.

The number has now dropped by at least 8-9%, said its principal, Supreeth B R.

Many families that have migrated from Bengaluru are unwilling to come back, strongly affecting entry-level admissions, the principal added.

Schools in semi-urban areas are, however, seeing robust demand, according to Supreeth.

“Most of these schools are full and that is because many parents have gone back to these semi-urban areas and aren’t willing to come back to cities like Bengaluru.”

This apart, parents who have continued their children’s education at the same school are not willing to buy uniforms or books.

“It is really surprising how parents think. Some are not ready to buy books or uniforms because they think the fourth wave of Covid-19 may come,” said the principal of an unaided school in Bengaluru North.

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Published 18 April 2022, 20:15 IST

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