Education, least of BBMP's priorities, says report

Of 236 posts of high school assistant teachers, 215 remain vacant

Education, least of BBMP's priorities, says report

 The BBMP’s administrative report for the last seven years shows that education was the least of its priorities.

While it used all its resources to build school buildings, the agency never checked whether there were adequate teachers. This apathy resulted in the gradual degradation of schools reducing them to institutions specifically meant for the ‘have nots’.

Statistics show that there was an absolute dearth of teachers in various categories. While vacancies to many crucial posts were more than 50 per cent of the sanctioned strength, five posts of head masters for primary schools were never filled in the last seven years. The total strength of high school assistant teachers, who actually run the show, was 236 of which around 215 posts remained vacant. Vacancies could also be seen in categories like primary school assistant teachers, nursery teachers, lab assistant and librarians.

Jayamahal Congress Corporator M K Gunashekar admitted that the BBMP has miserably failed in its duty. He said, “Under the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, it is an obligation on the BBMP to provide elementary education to all. The BBMP has not only failed in its fundamental duty by retaining the scarcity of teachers but has also cheated students.”

Gunashekar said most of the students coming to the Palike schools are from socially and economically backward sections. “It is sorry to say that the BBMP created an atmosphere to keep the oppressed class backward and became party to retaining a system of exploitation,” he said.

He put the blame entirely on the administrators who ruled the BBMP for three years. “There was no elected body for three years from 2006-07 to 2009-10 to blame the corporators. Well educated, learned, scholarly IAS officers ruled the BBMP. How did their conscience permit them to kill the education department in the BBMP?”

A former BBMP commissioner on the condition of anonymity said the Palike has become an institution to generate fake bills and get cuts. He said education in the BBMP is a farce and the time has come when the department should be wound up and handed over to the State government, which has some sense of accountability.

Previous regime didn’t table report

Deputy Mayor of Bengaluru S P Hemalatha, on Monday, said that the previous regime (led by the BJP) in the BBMP did not table the civic agency’s administrative report for seven years, which would have helped in improving the administration. Speaking to reporters after tabling the report, Hemalatha said the rules mandate tabling of the administrative report every year, but between 2006-07 and 2013-14, the reports were never tabled. Hemalatha said, “Those who ruled the BBMP previously never took pains to release the administrative reports as it would have brought out many bitter facts.” Mayor B N Manjunath Reddy too put the blame on the ‘previous regime’ for not tabling the report.

Reddy said, “The non-tabling of administrative report is a black spot in the history of BBMP. Its presentation would have brought out loopholes in the administration and helped in rectifying the mistakes.” The Mayor said a special session of the BBMP council had been called on March 9 to discuss the administrative report at length. He warned action against officials who failed in their duties.

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