QUEEN’S ROAD: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is planning to shut down seven of its schools as they have less than 50 students each.
The students and staff are likely to be transferred to the closest BBMP school. According to Section 58 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, imparting school education is one of the responsibilities of the BBMP.
The schools facing closure are the ones at Pit Colony (Malleswaram), Gandhinagar, Dayananda Nagar (Rajajinagar), Bannappa Park, Cottonpet, Murphy Town (Ulsoor) and Broadway (Shivajinagar).
BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana told Express that merging these schools would strengthen the available human resources, and consolidate teaching staff.
A senior councillor said fewer students were going to inexpensive BBMP schools — typically favoured by the poor — because they now have the option of getting free seats in private schools under the Right to Education Act.
“There was a time when corporation schools were in demand and had more than 30,000 students. Now, BBMP and government schools are competing with private schools. We need to get better to attract more students,” he said.
Meanwhile, a BJP councillor blamed lazy teachers for the drop in numbers. “They have to teach 16 hours a week. But they hardly do six,” he said.
Opposition party leader Manjunatha Reddy accused officials and elected representatives of not taking interest in BBMP schools.
“In Mumbai, the corporation runs engineering and medical colleges. Why can’t we run schools here? Why should we reduce the number of schools?” he said.
In rural areas, if the numbers drop, teachers and School Development and Monitoring Committee members go from house to house to persuade parents to send their children to school. But here, nothing is being done, Reddy lamented.