Mumbai’s municipal corporation to use social media, modern classrooms to woo more students to its schools

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is trying to leverage social media and convince parents to enrol their children in its municipal schools. This is part of several new ideas the civic body has been mulling on for the last few months.

Recently, BMC started a Facebook page with an aim to publicise its initiatives and activities. Sainath Durge, a member of the BMC’s education committee who came up with the idea of having a social media page said, “From digitised classrooms to beautifully painted buildings, efforts are being made to ensure that our students get a good learning environment. Through social media, we aim to reach out to people who might then want to enrol their kids in corporation schools”.

Amongst other efforts, the municipal corporation has, in the last one year, spent ₹96 crore to repair its crumbling infrastructure. While 62 schools underwent repair, four schools under the corporation were reconstructed. Many school buildings have also been painted and beautified as part of the initiative.

BMC recently announced it had undertaken a massive beautification drive from last year. Between 2008 and 2017 the enrolment in its schools fell by over 50% as per statistics shared by Praja Foundation.

Figures also revealed that 15 out of every 100 students dropped out of BMC schools every year on an average, mostly to join private schools.

Mahesh Palkar, BMC’s education official said the corporation is trying its best to ensure that the quality of education is improved in all of its schools to ensure students are retained. “Once that happens, everything else is secondary. We have seen the Delhi model and are hoping that something similar happens” he added.

The corporation is now working on developing twenty-five of its schools as international schools which would be recognised by the Maharashtra International Education Board (MIEB) from 2019-20. “We have identified the schools and will soon begin training teachers this month,” said Palkar.

Experts said that these steps are largely cosmetic. Ghanashyam Sonar, national executive member of All India Forum for Right to Education said that the corporation needs to think beyond symbolic initiatives to better itself.

“Children coming in corporation schools come from poor economic backgrounds. Grassroot level facilities are still absent while crores are spent on unnecessary things. BMC should improve and make all its schools world class instead of a select few” he added.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 00:19 IST

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