The NGO gathered information from the civic education department through the Right to Information Act.
Mumbai: There has been a 49 per cent decrease in number of students enrolled in Marathi medium schools in the city from 2011-12 to 2015-16, according to non-government organisation Praja Foundation’s annual report on the state of education in civic-run schools released on Wednesday.
The report stated that the number was 116,086 in 2011-12 but came down to 71,454 in 2015-16. The NGO gathered information from the civic education department through RTI (right to information). It found that 439,153 children were enrolled in 2011-2012 but the number fell to 383,485 in 2015-16. Reason being Marathi medium students had a dropout rate of 15 per every 100 in the academic year 2015-2016.
Nitai Mehta, managing trustee, Praja Foundation, said, “We had predicted that in 2015-16, the number of students in class I will be 38,329. However, RTI data revealed that only 34,549 children enrolled in class I in 2015-16. It is ‘worse’ than what we predicted. If this slide continues, then in 2019-20, we may have only 5,558 students enrolling in class I.”
Milind Mhaske, project director, Praja Foundation, said, “Denial of the fact that class I enrolments have dropped by 45 per cent in the last seven years (from 2008-09 to 2015-16) and also the fact that for every one student getting a scholarship in Class VII in municipal schools, there are 134 students in private schools would mean that in the next ten years, we will see only a municipal education budget for teachers and the establishment but no students! Are we, the people of Mumbai, ready for this!”
BMC education committee member Shivnath Darade said, “Yes, there have been drop outs in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools. We are taking efforts but if parents are unwilling to send their children to the civic body’s schools, we cannot help it.”