Bids invited to run coaching centres in vacant municipal school buildings in Delhi
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has decided to allow private players to run coaching centres or vocational training centres in some of its vacant civic school buildings and has invited bids for letting out 14 such educational institutes in the first phase.
Officials said the bids have been invited by the remunerative projects cell of the civic body and the process should be expected by October 22.
Among the 14 school buidings going under e-auction are four in Narela, seven in Sadar-Paharganj zone, and one each in Karol Bagh, Civil Lines and Keshav Puram zones. Some of the schools, which are being rented out in the first phase, include Tajpur Kalan boys school, Baljitpur girls school, Barwala girls school, Salahpur Majra girls school, Kashmere Gate Boys school and Chahalpuri primary school. Schools located in the Walled City in the Sadar-Paharganj zone includes primary schools located in Gali Razia Begum, Mohalla Niyariyan, Pahari Imli and Phatak Badwalan.
The North MCD runs 714 municipal primary schools, which cater largely to children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, have seen their enrolment numbers declining steadily.
Enrolment data from the civic body shows that the North MCD-run primary schools had 3.7 lakh students in 2012-13 which decreased to 3.1 lakh in 2016-17. A senior official from the education department of the North corporation said that around 2.3 lakh children were enrolled in municipal primary schools till August.
“The infrastructure in these vacant buildings is getting wasted and a portion of the revenue generated from this project will be provided to the education department,” said the official.
Khagesh Jha, a Supreme Court lawyer and an education activist who heads the organisation Forum for Indian Parents, said that more than 20 lakh kids are estimated to be out of the schooling system in Delhi and the civic bodies should focus on bringing these kids to the fold instead of renting out vacant school buildings.
“There is already a shortage of land for setting up new government schools. The municipal body should not use school buildings for revenue generation purposes. The population of Delhi is rising and the requirements of schools will only increase,” he added.
Jogi Ram Jain, the standing committee chairman of the north corporation, did not comment on the matter.