Netas want ‘political’ quota in select Mumbai public schools
The BMC Education Committee is mulling over the idea of introducing 5 to 10 percent quota in select public schools in the city for students recommended by corporators, MLAs and MPs.
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the civic body wants to introduce the quota in 19 Mumbai Public Schools (MPS) that are run by private entities and NGOs. The schools will be notified about the quota in the coming days.
While the suggestion was reportedly put forth by Education Committee chairperson Shubhada Gudekar on Monday, it has been a longstanding demand by corporators eager to show their political clout.
The city has over 1,100 schools, more than 60 percent of which are unaided. However, both unaided and BMC run schools seldom entertain such interference in the admission process.
“These 19 schools take only 40 students per class, so getting admission is difficult. We have suggested that till July 15, they should maintain a quota for references from public representatives. If no recommendations are made, then the seats can be filled,” Gudekar told the daily.
Meanwhile, officials from the Education Department are skeptical about the move as there is no provision in law that allows for such an arrangement. However, committee members are hopeful that they will be able to work something out with the schools.
Social activists and teachers, on the other hand, are extremely averse to the idea of allowing any political interference in the admission process.
“The admission process is already far from perfect. Reserving seats for netas will only make things worse. And, on what grounds will they even recommend students?” asked Sahil Ashar, a retired school teacher.
“Is there any way of making sure that they are recommending students with calibre or those from weaker sections of the society and not the ones whose parents are willing to pay for it,” he questioned.