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Covid-Induced Financial Stress Sees Elite Students Migrating To Sarkari Schools In Tamil Nadu

Time was when party and kitty group talk would debate how early a pregnant woman registered her kid for the top, uber sought after private school. Tamil Nadu has one of the best school systems in the country and only financial status decreed which school your ward would join. Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) alone runs 281 schools, with 300 private schools, some most sought after. There is this convent school in Nungambakkam where aspiring parents or proxies queue up at 4 am to get the admission forms. Such proven citadels of education enhance a CV when applying for a job. The pandemic has hit middle class families hard, what with job losses and back breaking medical bills. This year there is a 33% rise in GCC schools. Of 27,843 enrolments, 15,000 are from Private and Government-aided schools. These GCC schools are no pushover. They are SMART schools, with good infrastructure, toilets, clean water and fairly good English medium teaching. Recently a Rs 280-crore makeover plan has added more sheen. TN has always been in the forefront of education. It was first to introduce mid-day meal schemes to attract underprivileged kids and cut dropout rates.  Now the GCC has just announced an innovative and inclusive strategy. Crowdfunding for further improving infrastructure and educational aids. The South leads in the most significant development index — Education.