THE PROPOSAL to start a CBSE and ICSE school, to be run by the BMC, was on Tuesday sent to the office of Additional Municipal Commissioner A L Jarhad for approval. If approved by Jarhad, the proposal will be moved to the municipal commissioner for final approval.
The proposal was mooted by BMC education committee member Sainath Durge at a meeting on September 13 in a bid to increase enrollment of children in civic body-run schools and change the public perception that these schools are only meant for those belonging to the economically weaker sections.
Not disrupting the ongoing English medium BMC schools affiliated to the SSC board, the proposal seeks starting one CBSE and ICSE school on an experimental basis, with Marathi as a compulsory subject. “Starting CBSE and ICSE schools has been on our agenda. The plan is to start these schools in the BMC’s vacant school buildings. The buildings, which fit the requirements of the board concerned, will be selected,” said Joint Municipal Commissioner Ashutosh Salil.
“Given the popularity of CBSE and ICSE boards, many middle class parents prefer schools affiliated to these boards. Parents feel that their children should be taught a curriculum that is necessary to make a place in today’s competitive environment,” said Durge.
At present, private schools affiliated to these boards charge exorbitant fees, he added.
The BMC education department has all the necessary infrastructure and resources to start these schools, said Durge, adding that with only 50 per cent of the budget allotted to the education department utilised in the past, funding should not be a problem.
In the last six years, enrolment of students in BMC schools has reduced by 36.7 per cent. In the academic year 2012-2013, 4.3 lakh students had enrolled in BMC schools. In 2018-2019, the number of students enrolling in the 1,180 BMC schools had dropped to 2.75 lakh. Since some schools have very less students, some rooms have been allotted to the government or BMC offices.
Officials said that recruitment for nearly 800 teachers for BMC’s English medium schools is underway, which will recruit teachers who would be able to teach CBSE and ICSE syllabus.