Mumbai: More students opt BMC-run schools

BMC's education budget has increased by 52% in the last 10 years. it was Rs2,135 crore in 2012-13 to Rs3,248 crore in 2022-23.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Monday, December 05, 2022, 11:44 PM IST
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Mumbai: More students opt BMC-run schools | Photo: Pixabay

The admissions in the BMC-run schools saw a 6% increase in the last three years, Praja Foundation, an NGO, has claimed. Similarly, a ten-year data collected by the Praja volunteers show that the BMC-run Mumbai Public schools (MPS) have seen a 92% increase in the students' enrollment. It was 27,646 in 2014-15 and 52,662 in 2021-22. BMC's education budget has increased by 52% in the last 10 years. it was Rs2,135 crore in 2012-13 to Rs3,248 crore in 2022-23.

The annual fees of many top-end schools are almost equal to BMC's per-student expenditure. In the year 2012-13, BMC's per-student budget was Rs49,126 and it has now increased to Rs1,02,143. There has been a 108% increase in the last ten years.

As per the Praja Foundation report 'State of Municipal Education in Mumbai 2022', a 10-year trend shows that student enrollments in BMC schools have seen a continuous drop from the academic year 2012-13 to 2019-20. However, it has increased by 6% from 2018-19 to 2021-22. In the year 2012-13, there were 4,34,523 students which decreased to 3,00,746 in 2018-19. Thereafter, it again gained pace and it went to 3,18,002 in 2021-22.

The admissions in the BMC-run schools saw a 6% increase in the last three years, Praja Foundation, an NGO, has claimed. Similarly, a ten-year data collected by the Praja volunteers show that the BMC-run Mumbai Public schools (MPS) have seen a 92% increase in the students' enrollment. It was 27,646 in 2014-15 and 52,662 in 2021-22. BMC's education budget has increased by 52% in the last 10 years. it was Rs2,135 crore in 2012-13 to Rs3,248 crore in 2022-23.

The annual fees of many top-end schools are almost equal to BMC's per-student expenditure. In the year 2012-13, BMC's per-student budget was Rs49,126 and it has now increased to Rs1,02,143. There has been a 108% increase in the last ten years.

As per the Praja Foundation report 'State of Municipal Education in Mumbai 2022', a 10-year trend shows that student enrollments in BMC schools have seen a continuous drop from the academic year 2012-13 to 2019-20. However, it has increased by 6% from 2018-19 to 2021-22. In the year 2012-13, there were 4,34,523 students which decreased to 3,00,746 in 2018-19. Thereafter, it again gained pace and it went to 3,18,002 in 2021-22.

As per the report, BMC's student enrollments increased by 78% in pre-primary and 25% in Class X from 2018-19 to 2021-22. Furthermore, there was a 27% increase in BMC's English medium admissions. It was 79,884 in 2018-19 and 1,01,110 in 2021-22. There is a 125% increase in BMC's pre-primary students. It was 7,764 in 2018-19 and 17,504 in 2021-22.

Nitai Mehta, Founder and Managing Trustee of Praja, said, “BMC should look at the proportion of students enrolled in different standards, and make provisions to provide the necessary infrastructure and resources. For instance, enrollment in BMC-run MPS has increased by 92% from 2014-15 to 2021-22. This indicates parents are accessing BMC schools for their child's education and BMC should take this as an opportunity to further improve its education system."

On the other hand, Praja has criticised BMC for the low rate of health check-ups. No health check-ups were done for BMC students in 2020-21. Moreover, not all students were examined for health issues. In 2015-16 only 49% of students were examined, however, in 2021-22, out of the 3,83,485 students, only 26% were examined. BMC has also not maintained the teacher-pupil ratio. As per RTE Act 2009, it should be 30:1 but in BMC's English medium schools, it was 41:1 in 2021-22.

Milind Mhaske, CEO of Praja Foundation, said "BMC should focus on key areas such as building more schools from pre-primary to Class X and formulate targeted interventions to fulfil the aspirations of the students. The BMC education department should train and instruct the School Management Committee (SMC) on appropriately filing the action plan so that necessary provisions are being made available to the school. Further, there is a need to prepare an outcome-based budget with effective utilisation."

The Praja report also stated that Mumbai MLAs did not ask any questions about the health check-ups of BMC students in the winter session of 2019 and the monsoon of 2021. Only 39 out of 347 total education questions asked by the councillors were related to teaching staff. Only one question was asked by councillors on the health check-ups for BMC students from 2019-20 to 2021-22.

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