IN A municipal school in Bandra, students of Class IX and Class X are allegedly being made to sit on the floor to attend classes. A member of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) education committee has written to the education officer, regarding the “apathy” of the school towards its students.
According to committee member Shivnath Darade, the New Secondary English School in Khernagar, Bandra, which started operations in 2007-08, does not have enough infrastructure for its students.
“Almost eight years after it was inaugurated, students are still made to sit on the floor,” said Darade. He said this was one of the nine civic schools operating out of two buildings in Khernagar.
Darade alleged that the school, with 397 students, did not have a permanent principal and an in-charge was handling duties.
“No timetable is followed in the school despite the SSC board’s mandate on fixed weekly hours for each subject,” he said, adding that classes were conducted based on the availability of teachers and there was no provision for substitute teachers.
Among other irregularities, Darade said, the school was charging fee from students for examinations and form-filling. “The BMC has asked schools to not ask for fees, but this school has been taking money from students,” he said.
A BMC beat officer visited the school on Saturday to verify Darade’s claims, said an official from the civic education department. He said that the school was congested as it did not have enough space for the student strength, but he wasn’t aware that students were being made to sit on the floor.
An official from the school, on the condition of anonymity said, “The intake in the primary section has increased, which is carried over to the secondary section. We don’t have enough benches to accommodate all the students.”
An inquiry may be set up into the issue by the BMC. Education Committee Chairperson Hemangi Worlikar said, “I have been informed of the situation. On Monday, we will inquire about the conditions of the school and depending on the findings, action will be taken.”