Nagpur: One more dubious distinction has been added to the shabby record of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). In the past 10 years, total 57 schools were bundled out by the civic body for one reason or another.
The statistics were revealed in a reply to a poser under Right to Information (RTI) Act put by activist Abhay Kolarkar.
The 57 primary schools closed down by NMC since the year 2009 include as many as 45 Marathi medium schools. Besides, some of the shut down schools are of Hindi medium and Urdu medium. “Closing down of NMC schools is nothing but a denial of right to education to children from poor background,” Kolarkar mentioned in a statement.
As per the RTI reply provided by NMC, the buildings that housed the closed down primary schools are owned by NMC. In fact, NMC has given buildings of three schools to private organisations and six buildings are now housing NMC’s Zone Offices. The buildings of schools in Jalalpura and Mattipura have been demolished and the building of NMC school in Bastarwari is in a dilapidated condition. A commercial complex has been constructed in place of school in Maskasath. Bhauji Daphtari School building has been given to Police establishment. Other buildings have been used for dumping broken furniture, night school, and use of Regional Transport Office. Besides, 18 school buildings are empty.
The RTI activist lamented that closing down schools constructed and run from public money, and then allowing use for non-educational purposes reflects NMC’s neglect towards primary education. As per the information, the number of teachers in NMC schools was 1,402 in the year 2014. It has come down gradually to 1,207 in 2018. Thus, the number of teachers also has come down by 195 in a matter of five years. NMC has stated that no new recruitment of teachers was done in its schools as there were ‘surplus’ teachers.