Struggling for funds, Delhi’s three civic bodies plan to lease out their schools to private coaching institutions after teaching hours.
Money has been a problem. It triggered a civic crisis in late January when municipal staff, including teachers and doctors, struck work to protest non-payment of salaries. In the coming financial year, they are staring at a shortfall of Rs 5,100 crore, the civic bodies say.
Premises of only those schools that work morning hours — or first shift — will be leased out, officials said. The North Delhi municipal corporation (NDMC) has come out with a list of 390 such schools. The south and the east bodies, too, planned to do the same, sources said.
Around 1 million students go to the city’s 1,860 municipal schools, some of which have only a morning shift from 7am to 12.30pm. A majority of them, however, also have a second shift 1pm to 6.30pm — to make up for the shortfall of schools in the city.
“Thousands of students come to Delhi for coaching and to write competitive examination for courses like engineering, medicine, chartered accountancy and IAS. Institutes often face problems due to lack of space and that is where we want to come in,” said Mohan Bhardwaj, chairman, north Delhi standing committee.
The move would also help improve revenue flow, officials said. “Rather than the entire school, classrooms will be rented out,” an NDMC official said on condition of anonymity. It will allow schools to have more than one client. The north civic body alone has 1,800 classrooms.
The corporation has laid down a set of guidelines to ensure that the school work is not affected. The coaching institutes will have to deploy security guards, keep premises clean and pay penalty for any damage to building, furniture or other school property.
The civic bodies had earlier tried to rent out a part of the school premises to banks to set up ATMs but the project found no takers and was shelved.