Number of students registering for the class X examination to be conducted by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) in March 2014 has increased to 9,78,997. But a closer look at the figures of total registration reveals that even when total registration for class X has gone up to around 4,000, registration of students from Gujarati medium has gone down by at least 6,000 compared to last year’s figures for total registration.
Dip in the registration comes as a surprise as registration for students from English medium has increased to 4,000. But registration has gone down compared to the trend the previous year.
In the board examination to be conducted in March 2014, around 8.97 lakh students from Gujarati medium have registered, according to the GSHSEB officials. The registration figure for students of Gujarati medium in 2013 was 9,03,988 in a total registration of 9.75 lakh.
In 2013, a total of 44,000 students were registered from English medium schools which has increased to 48,351 this year, said officials at the board.
Reduction in the number of students from Gujarati medium schools has raised eyebrows of academicians, who term this as a change in people’s perspective towards Gujarati as medium of instruction in the education system. “It doesn’t come as a surprise as parents are obsessed with educating their kids in English medium. The obsession comes from the belief that children have better opportunities in higher education and career choice if they study in English medium schools and I believe this could be one of the reasons for the same,” said TJ Purani, director of Sheth CN Vidyavihar school.
A look at the figures shared by the GSHSEB officials indicates that in the last decade, as many as 890 schools have closed down, including 731 Gujarati medium schools.
Interestingly, only five English medium schools have closed down in the same period. Analysis of registration figures for the 2013 exam suggested that there are 10,051 functioning schools in the state.
Senior official at the GSHSEB however believes that there might not be reduction in number of students from Gujarati medium. Exam secretary at GSHSEB’s Vadodara office NM Mehta argued that comparing total registration might not give correct registration details as it also includes repeater, students from open schools etc.
“If examine registration of the regular students, one would know that students from Gujarati medium have increased in last two years. Figures of regular students suggest 7.17L students were registered in Gujarati medium in 2011 which increased to 7.39L in 2012 and 7.81L in 2013,” he claimed. Mehta however is yet to analyse figure of 2014 examination registration and so he did not have clue on fluctuation in registered students from Gujarati or English medium.