‘BMC has failed to curb drop-out rates’

Despite a substantial increase in the education budget over the past six years, the BMC has failed to reduce dropout rates, according to a white paper on the 'Status of municipal education in Mumbai' released by Praja Foundation Thursday. The dropout rate has gone up from six (out of 100 students) in 2008-09 to nine in 2012-13, the paper claimed.

It says while inspection reports of teachers by the BMC from three wards (D ward, M-East ward P-South ward) show that in several categories, over 90 per cent teachers are using the best teaching techniques and methodologies and that the schools are complying with infrastructural norms under the Right to Education Act, the results are not reflected in the dropout rate and SSC pass percentage.

As compared to private school students, municipal school students have performed poorly in SSC exams, with BMC schools faring badly by an average gap of 20 per cent. While the pass percentage in private schools in Class X was 80 per cent in March 2013, civic schools registered 60 per cent. Evaluation of the three wards show that while dropout rate was 14 (per 100) for D-ward, nine for M-East and 12 for P-South, the pass percentage was 63 per cent, 38 per cent and 58 per cent respectively.

"The dropout rates are high only in vernacular schools. The admission rate in our English medium schools has risen by 31 per cent. This year, we set up 117 new English medium schools and are planning to set up 60 more such schools by the next academic year," said Manoj Kotak, chairman of BMC's education committee.

Again, 2012-13 data shows that in Class IV, only 0.4 per cent BMC school students could get scholarships, as against 9.2 per cent for private schools.

"The problem is the high level of mismanagement in BMC schools," said Nitai Mehta, founder trustee of Praja.

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