A number of parents who were homeschooling their children are seeking admission for their kids in pre-primary or primary classes ahead of the resumption of the new session in April, heads of several city schools said.
There are parents who felt they could manage without a formal school but now they are showing more interest compared to the past two years, the heads said.
The Telegraph had earlier reported that pre-primary admission in several schools was low in the last two years and parents had preferred to teach children themselves instead of getting them enrolled for online classes.
In many schools, the admission process for the new academic session at the pre-primary level starts in September-October.
Since parents were not sure if in-person classes would resume for the younger students, many had not applied.
The government has allowed schools to resume in-person classes at all levels. Many schools have decided to call students, including those in the pre-primary section, in phases in February and March and are preparing for a full-fledged session in April.
“We have received applications from parents who did not get their children admitted in the last two years. Some of them are nervous that if everybody is going to school, they can’t keep their children at home,” said Jessica Gomes Surana, principal, Loreto Convent Entally.
However, in schools where the admission process is complete, entry will depend on vacancies.
“We are seeing an additional interest in admission now but our seats have been taken up,” said Krishna Damani, trustee of South Point.
A section of parents also kept children at home because of financial hardships, said Terence Ireland, principal of St James’ School. “There are parents who did not apply because of the pandemic and financial reasons. Their work or business is getting better and they want to get their children to school,” he said.
In some families, parents found it difficult to arrange for someone to sit with their four-year-old for online classes while both parents were working.
In at least one school, applications have come for admission to Class I for students who have had no formal schooling.
“There are parents who want to get their children admitted to Class I. They were delaying admission, waiting for schools to reopen in the physical mode,” said Amita Prasad, director, Indus Valley World School.
Several school heads this newspaper spoke to said homeschooling was not just about keeping children at home and teaching them. The parents need to dedicate time and follow a routine.
“Even if a child is not going to school, he or she has to sit and study during certain hours and parents have to follow a curriculum. They need to have certain skills to homeschool them,” said Seema Sapru, the principal of The Heritage School.