Mumbai: While falling enrolment and student exodus have led scores of civic-run schools in the city to down shutters over the past decade, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) new ICSE and CBSE schools, at Mahim and Jogeshwari respectively, have received an overwhelming response.
In a first for BMC schools, the number of applications seeking admission to the new schools has exceeded the number of available seats. The two schools will now conduct lotteries to allot the limited seats to applicants.
Over 200 application forms are being submitted every day, both online and offline, by parents of students hailing from varied economic backgrounds — from poor families and those with modest means, to well-to-do families.
On Friday, many parents were queueing up at the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated school at Poonam Nagar, Jogeshwari (East).
Manpreet Singh, a parent who is a civil engineer, told The Free Press Journal, “I want to enrol my son in this school as the education is free, the curriculum has practical focus and the facilities are good. The regular fees for any CBSE board or other private board school is comparatively high; so this is a golden opportunity.”
Muskaan Rais, a single parent who works as a daily labourer, said, “There are no private board schools which offer free education. I want my daughter to have the best education at a place where she can develop her overall personality. It is good that these schools are not asking for caste or financial income during admission.”
Rumana Godal, a teacher managing admissions at the school said,“On an average, around 200 applications are being received every day. We have already received over 839 applications. We have set a limit of 40 students per class. There is going to be only one division per class right from Junior KG to Class 10. As the number of applications has exceeded the number of available seats, we will conduct a lottery and allot admissions to the lucky winners.”
Meanwhile, Jyoti Vakharia, a teacher managing admissions at the BMC’s ICSE school in Mahim said, “We have received 190 applications till now.”
Parents will undergo a counselling round, during which teachers will talk to them to understand the abilities of their children. Sujatha Hattangadi, a teacher who will teach the CBSE curriculum said, “We will talk to parents casually to get an understanding of the abilities of the child. We are receiving applications from students of semi-English medium schools, but our medium of instruction is going to be English so we want to check such issues.
Parents can fill admission forms offline and online till March 12. Counselling sessions for parents will be conducted thereafter, followed by a lottery. The schools are set to begin the academic year by April 1, 2020.