The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to restart 35 of its Marathi- medium schools in the city, which were closed down in the last several years owing to lack of students, with English as the medium of instruction (MOI). The education department yesterday tabled a proposal about its plan to restart these schools, in the civic house, during a meeting of group leaders of various parties. The schools, which would be opened with the help of NGOs, were shut primarily due to paucity of students. “Rather than having the place (school premises) lying unused, it is better to hand over the schools to experienced, private organisations for its functioning. This is what the decision was taken in the meeting,” group leader of Shiv Sena in the house of the BMC, Yashwant Jadhav said.
“These days people prefer their children to study in English medium schools. Therefore, we have decided to restart these schools in English medium,” he said. Jadhav said that partnering with private institutions like NGOs would yield positive results in the coming days. However, raising objections, group leader of opposition Congress, Ravi Raja alleged that the BMC failed to run the civic schools effectively, and that his party does not accept the proposal of private partners being roped in. MNS group leader Dilip Lande in the meeting demanded that Marathi should continue to be the medium of instruction in such schools. According to a recent survey conducted by NGO Praja on BMC’s education system, the annual drop out rate in 2016, in Marathi-medium schools stood at a significant 13 per cent.
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As per the survey, as many as 55 per cent parents said they were dissatisfied with the quality of education, while 45 per cent said they were unhappy with the facilities provided at civic-run schools.