Pune: The schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are all set to increase the number of classes, by adding secondary and higher secondary grades to the existing ones. If successful, this move by the PMC may see a decrease in the number of dropouts that take place, owing to lack of good and affordable secondary or higher secondary school to study further.
Now, the PMC has appealed to self-financed educational societies to collaborate with PMC to start higher classes. Till now, many PMC schools had classes only up to Std VII or VIII.
In an advertisement given by the civic body, it has asked self-financed educational societies to apply for starting the classes from Std IX to XII at the PMC schools. The appeal mentions that while the PMC will provide with classrooms and other infrastructural facilities like toilets, drinking water and playground, the societies will have to take over the expenditure of providing free education to students as well as other necessary facilities like library, laboratory, Internet connection, etc.
Speaking about the initiative, Deepak Mali, Education Officer, Secondary and Technical Education, PMC said, “We are planning to start higher classes in many Marathi, English and Urdu schools operated by the PMC. We have taken the decision to start the classes along with other institutes so that our students too get an opportunity to complete quality school education, at minimum fees in their own schools.”
Adding to this, Matin Mujawar, Education Activist of Shikshan Hakka Manch, said, “While PMC students in the heart of the city didn’t have to face the problem of dropout due to the availability of abundant options, students from the outskirts face this problem. Due to less number of schools, the students don’t have an affordable option to continue schooling at other schools.”
If the new plan of the PMC is to work, not only will it help the students continue studies, but may as well contribute in reviving municipality schools in the city.
The PMC has strictly said that self-financed educational societies, that will be entrusted with the responsibility to run these classes, cannot charge fees. Also, they will be responsible for recruiting and paying salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff for these classes. The interested societies need to be registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 and Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. There shouldn’t be any criminal offence registered against officials of the societies and they should have the experience of running secondary and higher secondary classes for at least two years.
To ensure the selected society is financially stable, it will have to deposit a sum of Rs 10 lakh with the PMC. Also, the civic body will sign a contract of 10 years with the concerned societies.