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Schools for labourers’ kids

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to start a concept of ‘Builder’s school’ in the city, on the lines of ‘Sakhar Shala.’

india Updated: Feb 07, 2009, 01:25 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar & Bhavika Jain
Sujit Mahamulkar & Bhavika Jain
Hindustan Times

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to start a concept of ‘Builder’s school’ in the city, on the lines of ‘Sakhar Shala’ (the schools started by the sugar factory for their migrant labourers’ children in the rural area prominently in western Maharashtra).

The civic body felt there would be about 1,200 to 1,500 non-school-going children in the city, who live on construction site with their parents.

“We are planning to start schools for construction labourers’ children as due to migration from one place to another, they are unable to go to a regular school. So on the grounds of ‘Sakhar Shala’, we are planning for schools on construction sites themselves,” said Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak.

Education department is surveying the number of children who do not go to school. And also from which part of the state and country migrants come from, so that the civic body could provide teachers of the same language.

“We can force builders to construct one classroom on the site for the children and we will provide them teachers along with other teaching articles with the help of non-governmental organisations,” Phatak added.

It is an obligatory duty of the BMC to provide primary education to all the children in the age group of six to 14 years. Thus the corporation imparts free primary education to approximately 4,60,000 students from Class 1 to 7 in eight different languages namely Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and English through 1,162 schools.

The BMC will conduct a survey to gauge what is the medium of instruction that these children understand.

Supriya Sule, member of Parliament, however, not sure about the scheme said, “The concept is good but not feasible in the city. It would be difficult for the children to adjust and attach with the school and even the surroundings.”

A city NGO Mobile Creche has been working for the

children on construction sites since 1979 and feels if the government ties up with them it will be a boost to the organisation.

“The corporation will get the services of our trained teachers, in return we will get a helping hand in terms of finance,” said Neeta Khajuria, of Mobile Creche.

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