With the direct cash transfer schemes introduced by the central government beginning to take shape in the country, the civic body has decided to implement the policy in its education sector.
While there are several schemes related to scholarships to school and college students under the central government scheme, the civic administration has proposed to replace the benefits that it currently gives to students in civic schools with the direct cash transfer scheme.
The civic body currently provides 27 stationery items along with school uniforms and shoes to all students in municipal schools. Instead of this, the civic body wants to transfer money directly to the bank accounts of the parents in a policy it expects to roll out from 2014.
Corporators, however, have opposed the scheme saying it creates great scope for the misuse of funds.
“Serious lapses could arise in the implementation of the policy. Students come to civic schools from economically backward sections and even from slums. We do not know how the policy will be received by parents,” said Yashodhar Phanse, in the civic standing committee meeting on Wednesday.
Phanse said since these children belong to poor families, parents might choose to spend the funds on meeting other needs than education.
Questioning the potential of such as policy, Samajwadi Party corporator, Rais Shaikh, said: “The scheme is still at a nascent stage. The BMC must not implement it hastily. It’s important that a preliminary social study is conducted first”.
Some members said this could affect discipline in civic schools. “If funds are separately handed out to the parents, there will not be uniformity in the items that are bought,” said Dilip Patel, BJP corporator.