To earn some revenue, the cash-strapped East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has decided to lease out its schools to private coaching institutions after teaching hours.
Premises of only schools that work in morning hours - or the first shift - will be leased out, officials said. The EDMC has come out with a list of 200 such schools.
The civic body faces an acute fund crisis with a projected a deficit of Rs 2,100 crore for the current financial year, the officials said.
The monetary deficit triggered a civic crisis in late January when municipal staff, including teachers and doctors, stayed away from work to protest non-payment of salaries.
Approximately 2.5 lakh students are enrolled in 380 EDMC schools, some of which have only a morning shift -- from 7am to 12.30pm.
A majority of them hold classes in the evening -- 1pm to 6.30pm – to make up for the shortfall in schools.
Senior municipal leaders said the move would help the corporation fight the deficit. Special guidelines will be laid down to ensure municipal school students benefit from the initiative.
“There are many institutes that provide coaching to students at various academic levels but they often face shortage of space,” said Jitender Chaudhary, chairman, East Delhi standing committee.
“Thousands of students come to Delhi for coaching for courses like engineering, medical, chartered accountancy and IAS and to write competitive examinations . We will provide them space.”
It will be ensured municipal students who want to study in these coaching classes get free education, he added.
A senior said that to ensure maximum utilisation, the corporation would lease out classrooms on individual basis, rather than entire schools.
“This would allow schools to have more than one client. The east civic body alone has over 1,000 classrooms,” said the official.
The corporation plans to lay down an elaborate set of guidelines to ensure school work is not affected.
Coaching institutes will have to deploy security guards, keep the premises clean and pay a penalty for damage to building, furniture or any other school property.