BBMP’s School On Wheels Stuck In First Gear

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Published on December 2, 2021 by

Low student turnout, lack of facilities for teachers plague BBMP’s School On Wheels initiative. The BBMP says it is monitoring the situation on ground and will address all grievances.

Bangalore : A muddy path in Doddagollarahatti leads to a bus-turned-classroom that’s supposed to have slum children studying in it. However, along with a missing road, these schools on wheels have few student nor basic facilities for the teachers.

“There are just 3-4 children (in the slum nearby). They don’t come even if we request them to. We don’t have washrooms for us here. We don’t even drink water because there’s no place to go nearby,” said Manjula M, a BBMP teacher deployed at one of the buses for the initiative.

Teachers in other zones of the city have have the same complaint. The School On Wheels initiative aims at bringing those children back to school who are involved in begging or have dropped out of schools.

Officials at BBMP say that four lakh rupees have been spent on converting 10 buses into classrooms.

Parents say they are facing difficulty in finding a suitable government school for their children, hence they are forced to send their children to these schools.

“Somehow they (his children) are studying here (SoW bus). There are no government schools nearby. We just have our slum here. If the government gives it (good education in hygienic conditions), then they (children) will get it,” said Laxman M, a local.

The BBMP says it’s monitoring the progress of the scheme and will address all grievances.

“They (teachers) have some issues. We’ll address it in coordination with joint commissioners at the zonal levels. We’ll monitor it every week and depending on it will take further action,” said DS Umesh, Assistant Commissioner (Education), BBMP.

Educationists reiterate the need to first to try such schemes on a small level and gradually expand based on feedback from the ground.

“Any policy, we need to put it in on a pilot basis. Implement it on a small scale, see the reaction on-ground, conduct surveys and then do it (expansion). Just implementing it everywhere is wrong. Awareness is the key. If students don’t go to normal schools, do you think they’ll come to school on wheels?” said Jayaprakash Gandhi, an educationist.

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