The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is seeking to merge 20 of its schools with other schools in the area on the grounds of “low enrolment” which it claims is primarily due to relocation of people and shifting of population from one area to another on account of commercialisation.
“Running the schools with abnormally low enrolments results in wasteful expenditure besides under-utilisation of the staff posted there. Several such school buildings will be handed over to the MCD land and estate department for further use. The schools where these children would be transferred have enough space to accommodate the additional enrolments. The maximum number of schools being shut down are in South Zone,” said an MCD official.
Earlier the MCD education committee had come up with a list of 60 vacant school plots which they had proposed to put to commercial use. The MCD Education Committee chairman Prithivraj Sawhney said: “The overall enrolments in MCD schools have risen over the year. But in certain cases, the number of students attending school is less than 100 and it does not make sense to keep such schools functional.”
Ironically many of the MCD schools still run out of tents and civic body has allocated a huge amount for construction of new school buildings.
Besides the merger of schools, the MCD has also decided to implement a proposal to double the existing Life Insurance Corporation money for students studying in the civic body’s schools from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000 in case of an accidental death of a student in the school premises.
According to the MCD Standing Committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal, the scheme would cover about 10 lakh students studying in various schools run by the civic body in the Capital.
“This scheme for providing LIC money to students was introduced in 2002 and that time it envisaged payment of Rs.25,000 in case of an accidental death of an MCD student in the school. This amount now has been increased to Rs.50,000 and would come into effect from the beginning of the new financial year. In addition, the LIC money for students injured grievously by accident in the school premises has also been increased from the present Rs.12,000 to Rs.25,000,” Mr. Sawhney said.