BMC will have no students by 2028, says Praja Foundation

Nearly 229 schools shut in last 10 years: report

Updated - January 17, 2019 01:09 am IST

Published - January 17, 2019 01:07 am IST - Mumbai

NGO Praja Foundation had raised an alarm about the poor state of civic-run schools in Mumbai. According to the NGO, lack of teachers, bad infrastructure and poor quality of education will leave BMC schools without any students by 2028.

A report released by the NGO on Wednesday revealed that nearly 229 schools have shut down due to no enrollment of students in the last 10 years. Of the 229 schools, 48.5% were Marathi-medium and 39.7% were Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada-medium schools.

The report further revealed that the total number of enrollments has dropped to 3,11,663 in 2017-18 from 3,43,621 in 2016-17.

The number of teachers working in BMC schools has witnessed a 4% decline since 2013. From 11, 350 in 2013-14, the number of teachers dropped to 10,918 in 2017-18.

However, the funds allocated to these schools had seen an upward rise in the same period. From ₹1,540 crore in 2013-14, it went up to ₹2, 094 crore in 2017-18.

“Unless timely reporting, maintenance, and monitoring of education outcomes is not taken seriously, the civic body will not be able to analyse and predict the status of education or device corrective measures,” said Milind Mhaske, director of Praja Foundation.

The NGO had also conducted a household survey in May-June 2018 across the city which concluded that parents and guardians preferred to enrol their children in private schools.

Some of the reasons identified through the survey were poor health check-up facilities in schools, dirty toilets, bad quality of mid-day meals and teachers’ lower-level knowledge and lack of command over subjects.

“Facilities seem to be an important factor and it affects the performance of the students. As per reports, merely 8.91 students of MCGM schools get distinction in SSC as compared to 32.27% in private schools,” Jenifer Speneer, project officer of Praja Foundation said.

The NGO’s founder Nitai Mehta said that they have asked the civic body to appoint an independent third-party auditor to monitor learning outcomes, which will give the Education Department a true picture of what is happening and give suggestions on how to improve its functioning to deliver better quality education.

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