The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) education committee has for the third time rejected the civic body’s proposal on privatisation of schools and re-start 35 municipal schools, which were shut down. After being rejected twice, the administration had this time amended certain criteria and presented the fresh proposal before the committee.
The proposal was rejected over the criteria set for private organisations to run the schools. One of these was that the annual turnover of the organisation must be around Rs 5 crores. Also, the committee elected by the mayor and education committee to frame the rules was not included.
Shiv Sena corporators Sheetal Mhatre, Snehal Ambekar, Sachin Padwal and Aarti Pednekar were not in the favour of the proposal, while NCP corporator Dr Saeeda Khan and Congress corporator Rajpati Yadav were in its favour.
“It is difficult to run a company and keep the functioning stable with an annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore. There have been instances, where organisations running civic schools left it midway after facing losses. Therefore, the condition was added in the proposal to ensure organisation offering to run the school is financially capable to do so,” said a senior official from the BMC education department. Under its Full School Management with Private Partners and Teachers scheme, the BMC restarted 35 of its municipal schools that shut down two years ago.
Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer, said, “These schools were already closed due to low enrolment. There was no teaching activity there. Closing these schools on paper on paper was a mere formality, so that school documents pertaining students and teachers could be officially shifted over to the amalgamated school.”