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Should BBMP be running schools and colleges?

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To improve the standard of its schools, the city corporation is planning to recruit 300 permanent teachers. Chairman of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Standing Committee on Education, BV Ganesh said, "Around 300 permanent teachers will be recruited for all 33 BBMP schools for the academic year of 2011. The teachers will be in full strength for all the subjects, and we have decided to put forth this in front of the Council at the end of the month."

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

A report presented by Akshara foundation, a few years back, had brought out the fact that, even though the per capita spending on every child in a BBMP school was higher than the fee charged by schools like Bishop Cottons even, the pass percentage at the final exams was extremely poor. Some interesting discussions had taken place then on PRAJA too - check here.

Going by the Indian Express report cited above, things don't seem to have improved much since then. As such, does it make sense for BBMP to continue running the schools any more, particularly when the provisions under the RTE bill (whereby 25% of the school admissions are required to be reserved for poorer sections of the local society), are to be implemented from the coming academic year? Why not instead hand over their running itself to the likes of Akshara foundation, with the BBMP meeting part of the costs directly, perhaps through a coupon system?

Even as that should form the debate today, the shocking reality is that the BBMP seems to be going one step further to set up and run degree colleges, going by this New Indian Express report. Lopsided priorities, if you ask me.

Muralidhar Rao
 

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