'School on wheels' intervention for out of school children depends on BBMP survey, state's re-opening of 1-5 classes

The programme is meant to educate out of school children in a bus, is yet to take shape, almost six months since it was expected to start.

Published: 09th October 2021 12:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2021 12:09 AM   |  A+A-

School children, school bag

Image used for representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's School on Wheels programme, which is meant to educate out of school children in a bus, is yet to take shape, almost six months since it was expected to start (February end).

However COVID second wave hit, and this programme was postponed, said the Umesha BS Assistant Commissioner for Education.

Now, he said, 10 old buses procured from BMTC, are upcycled to make the exteriors look like a school bus and the interiors like an Anganwadi classroom.

The buses were reported to be bought at a cost of Rs four lakhs each.

The palike aims to bring back to school children who are involved in begging and those left out of education because their parents are migrant labourers, mostly involved in construction.

Before the lockdown, areas such as  Doddagollarahatii and Hosakerehalli, Kolageri were planned for the project, however Umesha said that once again the department will discuss before deploying the buses.

The wards that need the intervention will be gauged by the survey that BBMP has already started a month ago , where it tries to identify the educational status of children in the city. The survey is part of the statewide survey which was asked for, following a PIL  filed in the High Court of Karnataka, said  top officials from the department.

The survey which is supposed to be held across 8 zones for 30 lakh families has reached a 55 percent completion, with zones such as the thickly populated East Zone completing 80 percent, added Umesha.

Commenting on the survey based identification of candidates for the programme,  Kathyayini Chamaraj · Executive Trustee at CIVIC expressed concern  Not only about the duration between the survey and the implementation of the school on wheels (as the survey would raise caution for employers or parents of the child beggars) but also concerned about the delay in taking charge of the child and rehabilitating her as per the Juvenile Justice Act and filing cases against those those who may have trafficked the children or who may be employing the children to engage in begging, all of which is patently illegal

Meanwhile, Umesh said should the state government decide to resume classes 1-5 offline, the BBMP can run the buses, which would include this age of students.

A BBMP level discussion is planned post Dasara and then the proposal will be taken to the government. As for now, the department is finalising  the modalities for the programme. They have received a representation from an NGO to start teaching these students in Montessori style.


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