BMC to construct transit camps adjacent to dilapidated schools

Mumbai: The number of students are declining in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) due to the dilapidated condition of the buildings and bad infrastructure of schools.

The chairman of the Education Committee in the BMC, Anjali Naik, on Friday, ordered the officials of the Education department to build transit camps beside the schools to conduct regular classes so that the students feel safe.

There are 450 school buildings of the BMC in which 2.45 lakh students are currently studying. A few years ago, more than 3.50 lakh students were enrolled in the municipal schools.

This number has decreased over the last several years due to the closure of municipal schools. Also, the demographics of the city have changed, as many have moved out of south and central Mumbai, which once had a high number of students studying in BMC schools.

Naik held a meeting with the officials of the BMC Education department to assess the current situation and find ways to ensure there are no more dropouts. Officials said 30-35 BMC schools were found dangerous.

Schools at Juhu, Deonar, Nehru Nagar, Agarwadi have been shut for renovation since 2013-14. These are yet to be started.

These issues were discussed in the meeting and it was felt the one way to arrest the problem of fledgling number of students is to provide them with infrastructure that made them feel safer. Naik said, this step will bring relief to the students and teachers of the BMC schools.

The officers from the Education department visited their schools to conduct a real assessment and reported the true picture to Naik. In fact, there are no doors and windows in most of the schools, as some are broken or missing.

The officials were asked to take immediate decision of sanctioning repairs and in some cases rebuilding the school infrastructure. The officials were told they have to attend to problems like broken doors and windows on the spot addressing it at the ward-level.

She also directed the authorities of the school education department, the principals and teachers of the concerned schools to set up a joint committee to address the issue of repairs or rebuilding.

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