Mumbai: Several questions were raised after the announcement of Rs 2,944.59 crore allocation for in the civic budget for 2020-21 on Tuesday.
However, no allocation has been made to start the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) boards in two civic schools, provide sanitary napkins or initiate teacher training.
There is a hike of Rs 210.82 crore hike in the allocation for education this year. But members of the education committee have questioned the hike, given that there has been a reduction in the number of students. Aarti Pugaonkar, a member, said, “There has been a 50 per cent reduction in the number of students studying in BMC schools since 2017. Then, why and for whom is this extra Rs 210.82 crore?”
Ironically, establishing affiliation to the ICSE and CBSE boards is a major project of the civic education department but no funds have been allocated. Joint Municipal Commissioner Ashutosh Salil said, “We will require the ICSE and CBSE board affiliations only after Class 6.
We are in the process of conducting tests to appoint 12 teachers from our existing schools.” Mahesh Palkar, BMC education officer said, “We do not need extra funds, as we already have two school buildings, classrooms and teachers for this project.”
Among the new projects for 2020-21, Rs 50 lakh have been allocated to provide financial aid to the first 25 rankholders in Class 10 exams, to support them for graduation, while Rs 1.84 crore has been provided to implement the use of hand sanitisers for 815 specially abled students in 17 primary schools.
Al-Nasser, committee member and principal of Awami Junior College, Bandra, said, “Are hand sanitisers more important than scholarships? Why is the BMC focusing on starting new things without improving the existing quality of education?” Sainath Durge, another member of the committee said, “Last year, Rs 24 crore was allocated to instal 6,666 CCTV cameras but they were not installed; this year again, Rs 20 crore has been allocated.”
Key Highlights of the Budget
No funds allocated to start ICSE and CBSE board in two BMC schools respectively
Rs 1.84 crore to buy and use hand sanitizers in 17 primary schools for specially-abled students
Rs. 50 lakh to provide financial aid to the first 25 rank holders of Class 10 (SSC board) examinations
Rs 2.50 crore for primary, and Rs 45 lakh for secondary education to delegate powers to school Head teacher
Rs 26 lakh to install digital telescope and establish a mini observatory in Vidyan Kutuhal Bhavan to give students first hand experience of space science
Rs 10 lakh to construct modular sliding file storage system in offices
Implementation of 3 Water Break Bells to remind students to drink water
Continuing existing projects
Rs 20 crore to install CCTV cameras at entrance and exit gates of BMC schools as well as inside classrooms of Class 4 to Class 7
Rs 2.27 crore to set up Tinkering Labs in 25 civic secondary schools for Class 5 to Class 8
36 Counsellors to be appointed with Rs 1 crore allocated
Rs 1.54 crore to start E-Libraries in 25 secondary schools
Grants from State Government:
Budget provision of Rs 1,031.92 crore made under 'Primary Education Government Aid'
Provision of Rs 129.94 crore revenue proposed for Secondary Education