The future of over 31,000 higher secondary students of municipal schools hangs in balance.
The state education department has not recognised 35 Class 8 divisions in civic schools that were started last year.
This was revealed when a discussion on supplying textbooks to civic students turned into a fiery debate during the standing committee meet on Friday.
“Before starting the classes we had written to the government, but as the education minister has changed we haven’t got permission yet,” said Abasaheb Jadhav, education officer.
The corporators demanded why the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) failed to plug the loopholes in the civic education system.
“The officials of the education department must follow up with the government. How can we let down so many students by asking them to leave school mid-term?” said Standing committee Chairman Ravindra Waikar.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Education) Chandrashekhar Rokde replied: “We are following up with the state government to speed up the recognition of these schools in 15 days. If the process is delayed then the students will be transferred to other recognised schools.”
Corporators said it was the BMC’s responsibility to provide primary education, but if it wants to provide secondary education too it must “not compromise on quality”.
“We plan to start junior colleges, but if we are not competent enough there is no point in starting colleges and then leaving them unattended,” said Waikar.
The current condition of most of the 1,393 civic schools in the city is pathetic with crumbling buildings and lack of stationery.
Statistics available with the education department show that there are over 4 lakh children studying in civic schools but 560 teaching posts are vacant.
“Shortage of staff was the main problem, but we are trying to look into that as well,” he said. “Last month we filled up 1,000 vacant posts and by the next month 200 more will be appointed.”