When the 72 Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) aspirants from municipal schools walked into an air-conditioned classroom in July, they did not know what to expect. Except that their education would be free in Classes 11 and 12.
Today, these students at Bhawani Shankar Junior College in Dadar jump up at every question thrown at them and speak in broken English.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) decision to offer students from civic-run schools a level playing field for getting into the IITs has proved a success. The course was started at three junior colleges in Vile Parle, Mulund and Dadar. While IITian’s Pace run the classes at Mulund and Dadar, Yukti Classes run the course at the Vile Parle junior college.
“The attendance has been above 99 per cent,” said Praveen Tyagi, founder and teacher at the IITian’s Pace Bhawani Shankar Junior College, Dadar.
“These students did not have an option before. This initiative has been a success, as these young people are showing a genuine interest in studies,” he said.
Students from other boards, too, find the course useful.
“I like the system, it is organised and an intelligent approach for students who need the coaching and at the same time have to attend regular school,” said 16-year-old Rishi Mehta. He had scored 99 per cent in his Class 10 exams and topped the ICSE Board nationally. “I save time on travelling and the exams are synchronised,” added Mehta.
Mehta is part of the second batch of 30 from other boards who have paid over Rs 2 lakh for this junior college at Dadar.
After seeing the success of the course, Additional Commissioner of Police Sandeep Bishnoi had contacted IITian’s Pace for a similar system for children of police constables.
Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phathak has sanctioned advanced laboratories for chemistry and physics in these junior colleges.