To expand its outreach in the field of elementary education, the BMC has now inked a deal with non-governmental organisations and corporates to start 100 pre-primary schools across the city.
The cost to run these schools for kindergarten students will be borne entirely by the institutions selected for the project. The schools will shortly begin enrollment for free pre-primary education for the next academic year 2014-2015, and will run on the basis of the Corporate Social Responsibility Model prepared by the civic body.
“At present, we have 547 Balwadi schools in our care. In the forthcoming academic year, we will have 100 pre-primary schools run by private institutions as part of our CSR initiative. These institutions have been chosen after a thorough screening process to ensure quality of education is maintained,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Mohan Adtani.
According to the civic body, 50 of the 100 new pre-primary schools will be put under the care of NGO Door Step, which was the first institution to come forward for the initiative. Of the remaining 50 pre-primary schools, 25 have been given to private coaching class MT Educare (Mahesh
Tutorials) and the the rest will be managed by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
While the BMC offered to pay 60 per cent of the teachers’ salaries at these schools, civic officials said the appointed institutions had agreed to foot the entire bill.
“We will carry out regular checks on schools to ensure that the education levels are met, and various rules and procedures are followed. We are already in the process of setting up a better monitoring mechanism for all municipal schools,” Adtani said.
A proposal to begin class VIII as part of primary education in compliance with the Right to Education Act, 2009, is still pending with the Maharashtra State government.
“While we are still waiting for the state government’s nod and funds to start class VII at all BMC-run primary schools in Mumbai, we felt we should at least begin the process and accordingly made allocations in our current fiscal budget,” the additional municipal commissioner said.