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BBMP puts a 'break' on the Schools-on-Wheels programme

The programme is on hold because the buses obtained from the BMTC do not have a fitness certificate (FC), according to officials.
Last Updated 06 July 2023, 22:04 IST

The BBMP has temporarily halted the ‘Schools on Wheels’ programme, which aimed to provide education to out-of-school children.

The programme is on hold because the buses obtained from the BMTC do not have a fitness certificate (FC), according to officials. The BBMP had invested Rs 4 lakh in each of the 10 buses procured in 2021.

“We have to ensure children are safe,” said Venkata Raju, BBMP Deputy Commissioner (Education). “So, we have written to the joint commissioners of every zone to obtain an FC. Once we have an FC and are confident the buses are in a good condition, the programme will resume," Raju said.

Teachers are concerned that disrupting the programme could affect learning continuity.

Speaking anonymously to DH, a teacher said regular attendees included slum dwellers and children of construction workers.

“In many cases, children of migrant workers and domestic help attend these schools. Since they shift to a new workplace frequently, many children are irregular,” said the teacher. “But a few students show keen interest and hence, running the programme is important.”

Teachers said summer breaks, combined with the delay in resuming the programme, could disrupt continuity.

BBMP sources revealed that senior officials were dissatisfied with the way the buses were operating and were considering revamping the system.

“The aim was to eventually get students to enrol at a government or BBMP-run school,” said a source. “But there have hardly been any admissions. Hence, officials are analysing if the programme is yielding results.”

The source also added that officials want to revamp the routes the buses take and fix them with GPS.

A teacher asserted that the programme's outcome should not be solely determined by admissions.

"Although only a few students attend regularly, the teaching they receive here provides them direction. Many of them face constraints at home, and based on their learning here, they may enrol (with a regular school) at a later stage," the teacher explained.

On average, 200 students were attending classes under the programme, according to the BBMP.

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(Published 06 July 2023, 21:10 IST)

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