Corporators, who are members of the civic education committee, are pressurising aided missionary schools for a quota because these schools do not entertain their requests for admissions.
“Corporators have been demanding a quota in these schools for a long time and because these schools do not entertain their letters of reference they are raking up this issue,” said an education committee official.
There are at least 200 missionary schools in Mumbai.
The administration has claimed that the demand for a corporators’ quota is only a suggestion. “We will have to check whether such demands can be made legally. Currently, there are no plans to send suggestions to the state,” said Education Officer, Abasaheb Jadhav.
State School Education Minister Balasaheb Thorat said he has not received any such proposal. “I have not read anything about it,” he said. “I will not comment unless I see the proposal myself.”
The demand for a quota came up in the education committee meeting on Monday. Sources said the two Sena corporators who were very vocal about these issues were the same corporators whose requests for admissions were not entertained.
“We are providing all the facilities to these schools. What is wrong with asking for a few seats to be reserved for the local corporator?” asked Sena corporator Raja Chaugule.
Raju Pednekar, a member of the education committee said, “We give aid to schools so coporators should also have a quota in these schools. At least four seats should be kept reserved.”
Education Committee Chairman Rukmini Kharatmol said the corporators’ demands were valid. “What is wrong with demanding that children should sing our national anthem every day in school?” She also backed the demand for a corporators’ quota in schools.
He said these schools do not give enough importance to Hindu festivals. Corporators raised this issue when they were discussing the proposal to give grants to three aided schools, St Francis Xavier School, Bandra (West), St Lewis Convent and Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri. The proposal on grants to these schools is pending.
Chaugule added that central board schools should also follow this rule because the municipal corporation gives them land and water.
This stunt has not gone done well with minority groups. The Catholic Secular Forum has written to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan about this.