Private Organisations can now adopt BMC schools- FIRST STEP towards privatisation of Education in Mumbai


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
By Jai Maharashtra News | 26 Jul Thu, 2012

Mumbai: In a move that could be  MOST DISADVANTAGEOUS  ( orginal post says advantageous) to students of municipal schools as well as to the government, the ruling parties Shiv Sena and BJP in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken the decision to let civic schools be run by private educational institutions.

The proposal for this decision was first put forward 2 weeks ago, on the 11th of July, and the final nod came from the standing committee of the BMC on Wednesday 25th July. This was seen as a welcome move to improve the quality of education in state run government schools.

According to the decision, a private Non Governmental Organization (NGO) can select one civic school, and after approval, it will be responsible for recruitment of teaching and non teaching staff, as well as the overall functioning of the school. However, all other matters of the administration, as well as student enrollment will still be handled by the BMC.

Although some members from the Opposition were against this move, stating that the BMC was attempting to shirk its responsibility, it was pointed out that by Vitthal Kharatmol, BJP councillor and education committee chief chairman, that the move would help the students from civic schools to come up on par with better educational institutions, and would remove the inferiority complex that is associated with civic schools. Additionally, since there was no more open land for building more schools, it was hoped that this move would help make most of the existing educational land.

Many members of the opposition reacted strongly to this proposed decision while it was still under discussion, including Congressman Asif Zakaria, who sarcastically inquired whether the next move by the BMC would be to outsource its roads too. Samajwadi Party group leader Rais Sheikh said that managing civis scolls was the sole responsibility of the BMC under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (MMC).

The additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani also promised that the civic schools would still be under the control of the BMC, and that despite the provision of better facilities by the NGO, the students would still be enrolled free of charge and not be asked to pay fees for their education. “Students will not be denied educational facilities,” he said. The ruling party asserted that far from trying to get out of their responsibility to provide free primary education to the poorer sections of society, the move would elevate the quality of teaching as well as the morale of students from civic schools.

There are currently more than 1,139 civic run schools in the state, and the attendance rates are not as good as the government would have wanted it to be.

NCPCR draws guideline to eliminate corporal punishments


Deutsch: Historische Federzeichnung einer schu...

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Aarti Dhar,TheHindu

Suggests Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells in every school

With the number of incidents of schools practicing corporal punishments showing an increase, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the schools to constitute special monitoring cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children.

The NCPCR guidelines on elimination of corporal punishment, unveiled here on Monday to mark the foundation day of the child rights panel suggest that Corporal Punishment Monitoring Cells (CPMCs) should hear grievances related to corporal punishment, child sexual abuse, mental harassment and discrimination without any delay and should forward recommendations to district level authorities within 48 hours of the occurrence.

The panel has suggested that school boards should ask the schools affiliated to them to ensure “corporal punishment-free environment” that would be one of the conditions for granting affiliation or recognition while practice of physical punishment or mental harassment should be one of the grounds for withdrawal of affiliation, it said.

The guidelines suggest that school teachers should provide a written undertaking that they would not engage in any action that could be construed as amounting to physical punishment, mental harassment or discrimination.

It also says that schools should have annual social audits of physical punishment, harassment and discrimination. The guidelines suggest that results of the audit should be made public before start of every new academic year.

All schoolchildren should be informed through campaigns and publicity drives that they have a right to speak against physical punishments, mental harassment and discrimination.
Aarti Dhar, The Hindu
The NCPCR constituted comprehensive guidelines following a detailed study which was conducted in 2009-10 involving 6,632 children across seven States that showed that 6,623 children had reported experiencing some kind of punishment. As many as 81.2 per cent children had been subject to outward rejection by being told that they were not capable of learning or some other kind of verbal punishment.

Based on the findings of the report the NCPCR experts have come out with guidelines which stress on “positive engagement” with children.

The guidelines advise teachers to pay positive attention to children and appreciate good efforts while ignoring minor lapses. They also lay down that life skills education should be made a part of school curriculum and should address issues of self esteem, aggression, drug abuse, decision making, coping with stress and others.

The guidelines also suggest that school authorities should hold meetings with parent-teacher bodies on the guidelines and decide which procedures they should adopt to protect children and their rights in schools.

Speaking on the occasion, the NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha said that the “Commission has brought together some of the best minds and experts to draft its guidelines on corporal punishment.”

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