Crores into music,painting to make students stick

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation leaves no stone unturned to attract more students to civic schools and to reduce the dropout rates.

Written by Dhanya Nair | Mumbai | Published:January 22, 2009 2:06 am

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) leaves no stone unturned to attract more students to civic schools and to reduce the dropout rates. The civic body will be spending huge chunks of money in drawing equipment and essential stationary,musical instruments and even rain-wear for its students. These measures will be taken even as the civic schools struggle with shortage of teachers.

The civic body will be spending an approximate Rs 68.5 lakh on 2,885 musical instruments,Rs 16.55 crore on drawing equipment and essential stationary like oil pastels,pencil boxes,rulers and drawing books and another Rs 10.71 crore has been kept aside for raincoats and umbrellas. Students from standard 1 to 7 will be given raincoats and those from standard 8-10 will be given umbrellas.

BMC wants to ensure that their students get proper education and overall skills development. Senior education officer,Abha Saheb Jadhav said,“These measures are taken keeping in mind various interest areas of our students. We are looking at need-based initiatives. If some student has interest in art then those skills will be nurtured. If someone is interested in sports,we have our upcoming sports academy so on and so forth.” Deputy municipal commissioner (education),Chandrashekar Rokde said,“A lot of our students have expressed the desire to learn art and drawing,so we wanted to encourage this. We also have teachers who can teach them drawing but we don’t have enough drawing equipment. Hence we are investing on them this year.”

Refuting claims regarding shortage of teachers in their schools,the education officials said they are also working on attracting more faculty members. “It is not true that we have a massive dearth of teachers. In most of our schools,there are no vacancies. We are planning to start our own short term teacher-training course from coming June. These measures will iron out the shortage of staff,” added Jadhav.

However,the decision to equip schools with sophisticated instruments has not gone down too well with the teachers. “What is the purpose of providing these instruments,when there is hardly anyone to teach the students? Ultimately,these instruments will end up in the cupboard and get rusted. The need of the hour is to fill up the vacancies,” said a teacher from a civic school in Lower Parel.

The city has as many as 1393 schools with 46,0854 children. Statistics available with the education department of the BMC reveal that around 560 teaching posts in civic schools lie vacant.

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