White paper reveals grim reality of civic education. Only 58 percent students have passed SSC from municipal schools as compared to 82 percent from private schools
Geetanjali Minhas | December 20, 2012
Despite a large budget, the state of education in municipal schools as per the White Paper by Praja Foundation reflects sheer apathy on part of elected representatives. Though Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations’ annual education budget for 2012-2013 is Rs 2342 crore, only 58 percent students have passed SSC from municipal schools between 2008 and 2012 as compared to 82 percent from private schools. 61 percent BMC school students take private tuition's.
Compared to private schools that charge Rs 15000-36000 fees per student annually in Mumbai, the civic body spends Rs 50,000 on every child in a year. With 35 students per teacher in BMC schools , the teacher-student ratio is almost on a par or even better than in private schools.
Data reveals that in Class IV, only 9 students studying in BMC schools received government of India Scholarship out of a total 100, while in another case, in Class VII, only two students from BMC schools received a scholarship out of a total of 100.
Inspection reports reveal notwithstanding the fact that most teachers are rated good to excellent in almost all parameters, in D Ward (Malabar Hill, Grant Road, Napean Sea Road area) passing percentage is a mere 51% and dropout rates is highest at 11.5 % when more than 85% teachers are rated good to excellent in most teaching attributes like explaining the subject and teaching methods etc.
The indifference of elected representatives is clearly obvious from RTI queries that reveal between March 2012 and September 2012, out of a total 325 meetings of various committees, 227 councilors asked a mere 68 questions on education and 22 elected members of education committee asked only 36 questions in 12 meetings. Where no question was asked on inspection reports and pass out rates just one question was asked on dropouts.
Calling it a mockery of tax payers’ money, Nitai Mehta, of Praja said ‘poor governance and sheer apathy towards civic education is responsible for this state of education. It appears a major chunk of education budget is spent on contractors and staff expenses. There is a huge amount of mismanagement and lack of accountability on part of custodians of municipal education. If elected representatives are accountable to public at large, even teachers are accountable for the performance of students. One dreads to think of the long term impact of such disparity in education.”
The survey carried out in all 227 wards covered 15,191 households and revealed that 89% respondents wanted to send their child to private school but could not afford its fees and 67% children went to English medium schools while the rest to vernacular mediums.
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