Students of 14 civic schools shifted to one building in Mumbra
A total of 14 civic schools in Mumbra have been shifted to one building in Kausa over one year. The move has inconvenienced parents and students of the schools.
“The schools that have been shifted were situated across Mumbra. While some had a poor student-teacher ratio, others were in a dilapidated condition,’ said Manish Joshi, deputy municipal commissioner (education), Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).
“This forced us to shift the schools on a temporary basis to Kausa as this building is well- equipped to handle the current strength of students. We will look for better options soon based on the number of children in various locations,” said Joshi.
According to civic officials, most students live within a radius of 3kms.
Huma Sheikh, a seven-year-old student of one of the civic schools, walks 4kms every day to reach the Kausa building.
Like Sheikh, there are many other students who travel from as far as 8kms every day to attend class.
“My parents or elder brother come to drop me to school every day. It becomes difficult to walk during monsoon. I end up missing out on school as I fall ill often because of walking in the rain,” said Sheikh, who is a student of Class 3 in an Urdu-medium school.
She has suffered viral infection twice this monsoon, and her parents are contemplating whether to continue sending her to school.
Sailee Ambte, a student of Class 6, takes the bus from her house near Kausa petrol pump and then walks to school.
“We are four siblings. With only one source of income, we have to save as much as we can. So I prefer using Thane Municipal Transport buses. However, the traffic situation in Mumbra is worsening with each passing day and I often reach late to school,” said Ambte.
Munaf Pathan, parent of a 12-year-old student, said, “I have given my son a bicycle to go to school. However, the traffic, especially during the morning hours, is such that it inconveniences children.”
“They end up being late to school. We want our children to be shifted to the previous building,” Pathan said.
The 14 civic schools that have been clubbed in the civic building at Kausa include one Marathi medium and 13 Urdu medium schools.
The schools function in different shifts.
Shahid Ansari, educational activist from Kausa, said, “For students, it is not just about the distance of the school, but also the lack of facilities within the school. There is no proper provision for making khichdi on the school premises.”
“The mid-day meal is outsourced, however, many times students do not get the meals on time. The books, stationery and raincoats are not provided uniformly across all the schools within the building. Students bear the brunt of the education department’s lackadaisical attitude,” Ansari said.
Janardan Raut, coordinator (Mumbra), Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, said, “According to Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan or Right to Education rules, every child above five years of age must be enrolled in a school.”
Also, those from primary section must be in a school which is within a kilometre from where they live.
“The secondary section students can be enrolled in a school within 3km distance of their house. As most students are meeting the criteria, we are continuing with the classes,” said Raut.