The Surat Municipal Education Board (SMEB) has proposed to cancel the agreements it had entered into with some private trusts in the city for not running the adopted municipal schools in proper manner, a senior official said on Saturday.
The SMEB runs 331 schools in Surat city, catering to 1.58 lakh students in Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Odiya, English, and Telugu mediums from Classes I-VIII. A few years ago, the Board had handed over 28 municipal schools to 12 charitable trusts with some conditions. Ram Krishna Charitable Trust, EM Charitable Trusts, Agrawal Charitable Trust, Zumbesh Charitable Trust, Dhanvantri Ayurvedic Trust, Saumeel Charitable Trust, Contractor Charitable Trust are among the 12 trusts.
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Under the agreement, the trusts had agreed to provide infrastructure, academic facilities, educational aids and other requirements of the adopted schools. During the recent survey, the board found that majority of the trusts had failed to honour the agreements. In the larger interest of the students, the board has decided to annul the agreements it had entered into with some trusts on these grounds.
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Administrative Officer (AO) of SMEB Hitesh Makhecha said, “As per the agreement, the trusts have to provide infrastructure facilities, like construction of classrooms, toilets, etc. Under academic support, they could also appoint teachers for drawing, music,handicraft, karate and supporting teachers for the mainstream subjects.They can provide uniforms and identity cards to the students and take them on educational tours. But the trustees have no say in the administrative work of the schools. However, they were invited to the annual meetings and their suggestions were looked into.”
Makhecha told The Sunday Express, “We have found that the works of five trusts, who adopted 10 schools, were excellent. While the works of three trusts who adopted seven schools were not satisfactory, and the remaining four trusts, who adopted 11 schools had not done a single work in these schools. Based on our survey, we have sent a proposal to the Surat Municipal Education Board to cancel its agreement with four trusts for their poor performance. However, the trusts that had done their work not satisfactorily will be given one chance to rectify them. With this initiative, we believe that the trust members will become earnest in honouring the agreements so that the municipal school students get all benefits and better amenities.”