The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to set up two Vigyan Kutuhul Bhavans (science curiosity centres) for students of civic-run schools to encourage interest in astronomy, geography and health scienes, in the city.
Announced in the BMC education budget recently, construction has begun at one centre in Hariyali village, Vikhroli, while the design for the other centre in Parekh Nagar, Malad is yet to be finalised.
The BMC education department already has a curiosity centre at Vanmala Tank, Mahim, which will be restructured to set up an observatory with a digital binoculars, said BMC education officer Mahesh Palkar.
BMC education committee chairperson Anjali Naik, in her speech on budget estimates “E” on Monday, said the curiosity centres will involve installations, models, related literature and tools. She also proposed setting up of tinkering labs for students from Classes V to VIII and suggested a provision of Rs 2.27 crore for the project. Twenty-five tinkering labs will be set up in the coming academic year, sources said.
“The BMC currently has 904 balwadis. We aim to establish schools till Class X here so that students can finish their entire school education in one place without having to shift from nursery to primary and then secondary school. This will help reduce dropout rates,” said Naik.
To increase enrollment of girls, Naik suggested the provision of a “motivational allowance” of Rs 5,000 each for 14,009 girl students in Class VIII. She also proposed funding of Rs 1.54 crore for setting up an e-book management portal. “This is to increase the grasping power and understanding (of students),” she said. Installation of sanitary pad vending machines, giving stipend to specially abled students up to18 years, introducing vocational training in subjects like mobile repairing, were among other proposals.
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