Mumbai: Municipal councilors on Wednesday slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not granting funds to 71 unaided schools in Mumbai. Teachers from these schools have been protesting at Azad Maidan for the last 11 days, demanding annual funds from the BMC. However, the BMC administration has been refusing funds, citing a 2010 state government decision after which the civic body stopped funding unaided schools.
“Under section 66 of the MMC Act, primary education is the BMC’s responsibility and the BMC should not shrug off its responsibility,” said Mangesh Satamkar (Shiv Sena), education committee chairman.
The issue was raised on Wednesday by Mr Satamkar as a point of order in the BMC’s general body meeting. Opposition leader Ravi Raja and all other parties supported Mr Satamkar’s point of order. The House was adjourned by the corporators as the commissioner failed to fulfil the demand to fund unaided schools.
The 71 unaided schools have a total 447 teachers and around 11,000 students. These schools have the BMC’s permission to run however they are owned by trusts/private organisations. “The teachers in these schools are paid only Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000 monthly while some don’t even get paid. If calculated from 2010, the BMC would have to pay Rs 250 crore in funds to these schools. However, the teachers have demanded that the funding at least begin from this year which amounts to only Rs 46 crore,” said Mr Satamkar.
Supporting Mr Satamkar’s demand, Raja said, “It is disappointing that the mayor being a teacher himself is failing to take any strong decision for these teachers. BMC is a rich civic body which spends hundreds of crores of rupees on entertainment projects like cycling tracks etc. But it fails to fulfill the demands of school teachers.”
The MC is expected to submit his reply in the next meeting.