Slamming the Shiv Sena-BJP ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for passing a proposal to make yoga and surya namaskar mandatory in schools, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam said the civic body should focus on improving its “deteriorating” quality of education.
He also demanded a white paper on the BMC-run schools and alleged drop out rate of students has increased and new enrolments in these schools have dwindled.
“Shiv Sena-BJP led BMC has spent over Rs. 14,000 crore in the last five years on education, but the grim reality is that the quality of education has deteriorated considerably and there has been significant rise in students’ drop-out rate,” Nirupam said.
Citing the data compiled by Praja, an NGO, the city Congress chief said, “There has been a decline in all the aspects regarding the BMC-run schools. If we compare the 2012-13 data with that of 2015-16, we find that not only the students, but the number of teachers and schools of all medium — Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu and Marathi– have gone down drastically.”
“In 2012-13, there were 81,216 students in 385 Marathi medium schools with 3,873 teachers. But this figure has gone down and in 2015-16, there were only 59,802 students in 357 Marathi medium schools with 2,831 teachers,” he said, adding that the scenario was similar in schools of other medium.
He also said that BMC, with its average annual budget of Rs. 2,400 crore on education, spends Rs. 50,524 on each student every year.
“However, the quality of education as well as numbers of school inspectors has really deteriorated considerably,” he alleged.
“Number of school inspectors has gone down by 38 per cent over the years and the drop-out rate in civic schools has gone upto 13 per cent. There has been a steep decline by 38 per cent in the enrolment of the students,” he said.
“The Sena-BJP ruled BMC should first improve the quality of the education in its schools and not play politics by imposing surya namaskar and yoga, ahead of the 2017 civic elections,” the Congress leader said.
The basic facilities in these schools is pathetic. There is no electricity in many schools, toilets are in a miserable state, there is shortage of teachers, and so many issues, he said adding, “Hence I demand Sena-BJP to come out with a white paper on the issue.”
Nirupam argued that if surya namaskar and yoga were made mandatory in the civic schools, the students drop out rate would rise.
“I do yoga regularly, but I don’t favour imposing it if someone finds something objectionable in it,” he added.