The city’s rich entrepreneurial tradition has attracted a large number of migrants. But what about their kids?
Nearly five lakh migrants from different Indian states make up a significant chunk of the workforce plying their trade in Gujarat’s industrial units. These cities have a higher proportion of migrant workers than probably any other in India.
Despite the current animosity some sections of Gujarati society might have against workers from other states, municipal authorities in Surat are catering to the city’s migrants by running over 120 special schools for them. In schools catering to students from Class I-VII, the numbers are particularly significant.
There are 55 Marathi medium schools with 28,251 students; 28 Urdu-medium schools with 15,961 students; 7 Odia-medium schools with 3,537 students; 25 Hindi-medium schools with 15,025 students, 3 Telugu-medium schools with 217 students; and 9 English-medium schools with 3,105 students, according to the SMC.
This amounts to over 65,000 students from just Classes I to VII. Add SMC-run Suman Schools catering to secondary education and that figure increases by almost another 5,000.
Of course, they started with Gujarati medium, but in areas where there is a high number of Marathis, they started Marathi-medium schools as well.
On the subject of qualitative education and teacher-student ratio, however, questions remain, but what they are seeing here is a city willing to accommodate children from around the country and not denying them basic education.
Such an initiative should be extended to other states as well.
Reference: The Better India