South Delhi Municipal Corporation may rope in NGOs to run schools

  • Shashank Shekhar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 22, 2014 01:21 IST

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) is planning to outsource the management of several of its primary schools to non-profit private organisations on the public-private partnerships (PPP) model.

The aim is to improve the quality of education at these schools to bring them at par with private English-medium schools in the city and address the increasing demand of low-income parents for quality education. The proposal would be tabled at the education committee meeting on Tuesday.

To start with, 35 of 588 primary schools managed by SDMC will be handed over to private players on a trial basis. These 35 schools have extremely low enrolment with less than 40 students attending them.

Under the proposal, SDMC and the private operator (PO) will sign a 15-year contract. No fees will be charged from students and the curriculum will be solely decided by the civic body. For the first year, the PO will work without any pay and their work will be assessed by SDMC before continuing contract.

The POs will be tasked with the running and management of the schools, improving quality of education, and bringing in new teaching and learning methods.

“The idea is to increase enrolment and the quality of education in the municipal school system. The private players will be expected to introduce innovative teaching practices and other needed support.

We believe the policy offers valuable opportunities to also utilise idle infrastructure at municipal schools, and to address the growing demand of low-income parents for English-medium education,” said Ashish Sood, chairman of the education committee, SDMC.

“We have categorised the schools. There are around 35 schools which have low attendance. There are around 189 schools where infrastructure is sufficient but lack quality education. There are another 130 schools that require infrastructure and better quality education. Before drafting the proposal we examined the policy being adapted by Gujarat and Mumbai,” explained Sood.

The municipal corporation of Mumbai and state governments of Gujarat and Haryana are tied up with the voluntary sector to improve quality of education.

In Haryana, the state government has entered a memorandum of understanding with Michael and Susan Dell Foundation to upgrade infrastructure.

Sood said the SDMC will keep an eye on the progress. “Our aim is to enable municipal schools to compete with private schools. Schools will always be called municipal school but managed by private companies,” said Sood.

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