Gaining lateral entry into a CBSE school in Kochi may be tough going by a spurt in demand this time.

Preliminary estimates given by the CBSE School Management Association refer to at least 50 per cent increase in the applicants compared to last year.

A city school, which received around 10 applications in 2013-14, has now got 70 requests for lateral entry mainly to Classes between I and IX.

Confirming the rise in demand for lateral entry this year, T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan, the president of the CBSE School Management Association, said applications from students now studying in the Gulf seem to have gone up considerably.

“Parents in the Gulf say that soaring rentals in the Gulf, especially in Dubai, have forced them to cut down on the overall expenditure. They now want to admit their children in schools here as part of the decision to come back to their home towns,” he said.

Suresh Menon, a marketing professional employed in Dubai, is among several parents planning to shift their families to Kochi this year.

“Rentals have shot up by 30 to 40 per cent in Dubai, especially after it won the bid to host the World Expo 2020 exhibition. I have no other option but to shift my family that includes two school-going children to Kochi this academic year,” he said.

Pointing out that the rush for lateral entry is not confined to students from the Gulf alone, E. Ramankutty, the Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Kochi, pointed out that factors like inter-State transfers among the government and bank employees also trigger the rush for lateral entry every year.

“But the vacancy position will become clear only by next month. We would not be able to predict the number of seats available for admission at this point,” he said.

A parent on conditions of anonymity said that he had applied for lateral entry in two schools, as there was no guarantee on where his son would get admission this year.

“We are ready to pay the donation but the school management concerned has not yet given any assurance on whether they would admit him in to Class IV,” he said.

School managements referred to a considerable decline in an earlier trend, where Non-Resident Keralites used to shift their children from schools here to educational institutions in the Gulf. Instead, Mr. Ibrahim Khan said, parents now take their children to the Gulf countries during the two-month summer vacation here.

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