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Bus-class schools

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2010 00:40 IST
Ritika Chopra
Ritika Chopra
Hindustan Times
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Delhi government’s mobile education initiative is set to get more wheels.

After the success of its pilot programme, the Chalta Phirta Schools, the government is set to introduce a fleet of 30 new buses by June to educate out-of-school children, especially those of construction workers.

“The number of construction workers in the Capital has increased because of the Commonwealth Games. Their children, mostly, are not enrolled in schools,” Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said. “The new mobile schools are mainly for their benefit.”

The Chalta Phirta Schools project was launched in 2008 with two buses, equipped with the basic infrastructure of a classroom under the government’s flagship programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

In the Chalta Phirta Schools, children in the age group of 6 to 14 years are taught a bridge course so that they can join a proper school and class.

So far, the pilot project has helped enroll almost 200 kids into proper schools in the last two years.

Each mobile school — managed and run by an NGO — visits four fixed destinations daily and caters to about 40 to 50 children at each spot. Currently, each school is being run on a public-private partnership basis with two NGOs called Butterflies and Salaam Balak Trust.

The Directorate of Education has now asked the Delhi Transport Corporation for new buses for this scheme.

“The first two buses were old and given to us by DSIIDC (Delhi State Industrial And Infrastructure Development Corporation). But now we will have brand new buses. We have shortlisted another 30 NGOs to run and manage the additional mobile schools. We hope each new bus will be able to mainstream 200 children in one year,” said VP Singh, State Project Director of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.