Karnataka govt on top in English school battle

Data shows that there has been a sudden dip in demand for opening private unaided English schools across Karnataka.

The state government’s decision to set up English medium schools has turned out to be a masterstroke.

Data shows that there has been a sudden dip in demand for opening private unaided English schools across the state. Officials in the government have attributed the slump to the popularity of government schools which have affordable fee structure and other facilities.

According to data made available to DH by the Primary and Secondary Education Department, for the academic year 2019-20, the government received only 467 applications as against a whopping 2,000 plus applications it used to receive every year. Compared to applications received during the 2018-19 academic year, the department witnessed a 19% slump.

A senior official told DH that in the last three years the department used to receive over 2,000 applications seeking permission to open new English medium schools.

“Now, the same quality of education is offered at government schools and all schools have witnessed full enrolment. With more and more people turning towards government schools, private organisations have not made any fresh requests,” the officer said.

Interestingly, the last time the government had given permission for opening a government school was way back in 2013-14.

“During that gap, several organizations and individuals set up private unaided schools. Currently, Karnataka has about 19,645 private unaided schools with a student population of about 45 lakh children,” the officer revealed.

D Shashikumar, General Secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, had a different interpretation.

“The slump in the demand is not because the government has set up English schools but it is due to more supply than the demand. Some of the schools that have registered have seen no admissions or are struggling to get pupils,” said Shashikumar.

Usually, Bengaluru North and South districts used to top the list with requests for over 450 new schools every year. That is no longer the scenario, with requests from Bengaluru South and North dropping to 60 and 46 applications respectively.

From the districts, the government received only one and two applications respectively from Uttara Kannada and Udupi—the top performing education districts.

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