“BALWADI” IN EVERY MUNICIPAL SCHOOL
The Sarva Shikshan Abhiyan (SSA)
scheme, of the Government of India, aims at
‘Universalisation of Primary Education for all by 2010’.
Under the SSA, Pratham was chosen by the Brihanmumbai
Municipal Corporation (BMC) as a resource agency to conduct a
survey of over 3 million households in the city of Mumbai. The
findings would form the basis of a citywide plan to implement
Universalisation of Primary Education.
The results were submitted by
Pratham to the BMC in May 2004, complete details of which, are
not yet public record. On the positive side, statistics
revealed that 96% of children are enrolled in school – which
is a great achievement for the city of Mumbai. On the other
hand, there are concentrated pockets of ‘out of school’
mainly in the northern suburbs of the city and an amalgam of
street and working children primarily in South Mumbai.
In addition, the figures
indicated a strong need for a pre-school education program in
the entire city. This would help in the enrollment and
retention of children in primary schools. In a very prompt
action, to Pratham and other stakeholder’s recommendations,
the BMC has principally agreed to launch a ‘balwadi’ in
each one of its 1493 primary schools. The logistics and
implementation procedures are still in the process of being
finalized, but the Corporation is aiming at commencing this
from July 2004.
This is a landmark not only
for Mumbai but also a milestone in the quest for
universalisation of primary education.
pl let us have email id's of
those involved in this.
Thanks. Vinay, karmayog.com
needs of municipal schools
- BMC is running 18 schools for
mentally retarded students since 1980.
- Science curiosity
development home has been started at City of Los Angeles
Municipal School, Mahim.
- School Community
Development Project aims at reducing the dropout
rates, providing nutritious food, collecting the donations
in kind like books, uniforms and stationary through
- there are 1493 primary
schools + 51 Secondary Schools.
- an organisation can adopt
schools by spending minimum Rs. 75,000/- per annum.
is needed via:
- Providing Furniture
- Providing Audio-visual
and Teaching aids
- Development of
- Development of Libraries
- Development &
Mathematics Library / Workshop
- Supply of sports
- Maintenance of
- Maintenance of garden
- Minor repairs
- Providing water coolers,
- Providing instruments,
ceiling fans, electric items etc.
- Providing jute matting
- Provide educational
material (writing material, uniforms, note books, school
bags, shoes, geometry box, slates, drawing material)
- Supply of mid-day meals
- Opening of Balwadis,
study classes, vocational classes.
- Arranging medical camps
and distribution of medical equipments and medicines.
- Sponsorship schemes
- Starting centres of
I am curious to know about your
experiences and opinions on the current working and possible
ways of improvement or collaboration between these schools,
ngo's, corporates, volunteers, and residents in the area of
Are the school authorities
generally responsive? Are the procedures to help schools
cumbersome? Are local residents apathetic or ignorant about
how they can help? etc.
I would like a full list of
the school addresses. I will try the contacts mentioned in
the website. But if you know where I can get it from, do let
hello - this is sriram from the akanksha foundation.
we have been working over the last year through this
program of adoption at 3 BMC schools. we have been trying
to provide a 4 level support in terms of educational
support, infrastructural support, extra curricular support
and community outreach to the school.
it is not smooth sailing at all. there are hurdles at all
the stages and as external agencies, we are at the mercy
of the whiums and fancies of the all the different
stakeholders invovled. and the situation varies from
school to school.
to a large extent, the bureaucracy makes it difficult for
the things to move in speed.
the parents are however a potential source of support if
they can be mobilised in an appropriate manner.
but the needs are real and the kids are losing out big
time and something large scale and serious needs to be
thanks and regards,
REAP adopted a municipal school in kurla two
years ago. our objectives: to raise up the
educational levels of the students, bring about all round
development, prevent drop-outs and create parent-teacher
motivation. the programme itself went well, except
there was absolutely no co-operation from the school
authorities, infact, they considered our presence a
hindrance as their callousness would be exposed.
there is no teaching being done at all in the school and
our intervention was not appreciated. flimsy
reasons to block NGO's intereventions.
REAP painted the front of the school with colourful
pictures to make the school welcoming and creating a
learning enviornment. however, no value and
appreciation for the infrastructure development.
their idea of 'adoption' is to that NGO's only prorvide
material goods and money, not quality education.
bureaucracy and lazziness charactereice municipal schools,
hence the state they are in. they find every excuse
to prevent quality education intervention.
due to unpleasant experience with bmc, REAP moved to
thane municipal corporation and this year to navi mumbai
mum corporation with two schools adoption. their
cooperation is heartening. bmc is too corrupt
to be bothered about quality education.
t. miranda sj
REAP - 22075761
Municipal schools have the problem of apathy and private
schools / missionary school have the issues of having too
much activity in their calender year to be able to slot
value education of any kind... inspite of having allocated
times for the same like Value education periods, SUPW as
part of the cirriculum in which ridiculous things like
Sewing are taught to the kids... It is great if th ekids
know how to sow... though most of the times it is mothers
who finish up the work they start in schools because the
pressure of studies hardly gives them any time...
BUT more importantly...how is it Socially Useful
Education system need to look into this.... this should be a
perfect time for children from private schools to interface
with the community... old age homes, childrens homes, adult
litreacy, cleanliness so they know what it takes to move
communities ahead. When i worked with the Andakshi ashram I
would sometimes take my children with me who were quite
young then... but i know that the women in the Ashram used
to llok forward to their coming and just small interactions
as hugging them, holding them, talking to them. These places
are so starved for human touch and affection... that when we
sit and theorize about them the problems that one might see
would probably be the ones related to money... but that is
not the only thing...
It is not without reason that solitary confinement is
considered the worst possible punishment in a prison.
In society, people live alone for long periods without
any social interaction... how dehumanising it that??
This is important especially for people who think that
money is the solution for everthing... money is important no
doubt, but other ways of giving exsist and need to be
This is Kala from GIVE Foundation. As part of GIVE's
Corporate Philanthropy Services, we had helped one of our
coporate adopt a municipal school in Mumbai with the help of
a Mumbai based NGO. Initially we thought that getting
approvals from BMC to work in school is an easy process. But
soon we found out that the corporate NGO partner was
struggling hard to get approvals from BMC allowing them to
to work in a municipal school. Ofcourse ultimately they
succeeded in their mission.
BMC acknowledges their responsibility to improve conditions
of municipal schools but what is happening is that due to
insufficient staff/poor salary structures, they are unable
to retain teachers in these schools. As a result, children's
education suffers and thereare more drop out cases. For
example: When we were working with GIVE corporate NGO
partner, we realised that most classrooms were oversized,
they were too many children and few teachers. One of the
biggest problem municipal schools face today is less
teachers, no training to teachers to upgrade their
knowledge, poor infrastructure and poor learning environment
With more and more corporates coming forward to improve
municipal schools, BMC feels all the more irresponsible to
add to the schools infrastructure.
I think, the most important need today is to create
awareness among BMC and make them understand the importance
of improving the schools. If BMC and civil society
organisations work out a strategy whereby each party attend
to those needs which the other party cannot provide, we can
really add value to the education system.
in the second para you say that teaching suffers due to
structures of the bmc staff ...'. you will be surprised to
know that bmc
teachers are the highest paid, more than even private
schools. even their
peons get about rs. 8000. so why should they work!! the
problem is not
salary, the problem is accountability. the whole system is
be surprised to know that bmc recruits only 'merit'
teachers, but the system
strangles any creativity.
many more ngo's would have come forward to adopt bmc
unfortunately the bureaucracy and delays puts off good
think of handing over running of their schools to good ngo's
and keep the
with them. in this way atleast quality education is assured.
This is Sriram from the Akanksha Foundation.
I realise that this is a real hot topic of debate. I wish to
of a good program that have worked with the BMC. Those who
are already aware
of this, kindly excuse.
Avehi Abacus runs a life skills program called 'Sangati"
with around 70
schools in G/South and G/North wards. They train the BMC
deliver the same to the kids. Available for Std 4/5 (not
100% sure) in Hindi
and Marathi. Program is facilitated with high quality
teaching support for
the BMC staff. Inspite of this adding onto the workload of
this project is being received with more than average
success. What it
proves is that perhaps there are still some level of service
attached to the job of a teacher among the BMC cadre (they
are mostly middle
class Maharastrians and Gujrathis). Give them the correct
motivation and they could become inspired to deliver !!
I am gathering information on the training dept of the BMC's
Will send across some details later if you require.
In several forums, top brass of the BMC have stated that
they do not have
the interest to run services like education, which I
consider blasphemous. Interventions like we NGOs do (with all noble and honest
to encourage them along this path.
The ideal approach is to enable the system to deliver what
it is installed
for. Our interventions should not try to create a parallel
system within the
system (like for example putting in teachers etc to cover
There are approx 15000 teachers for around 6 lakh enrolled
which is a great
1:40 ratio. Problem is distribution between mediums. Marathi
are over-staffed, while other mediums bear the brunt of
Over the last year, we at Akanksha have been brain-storming
trying to come with a replicable model to impact education
in BMC schools.
And we are still in the process of learning.
There are so many NGOs working with the BMC schools across
this city. We
should really network and put together a joint face to
impact the BMC.
Thanks and regards,
Very interesting to read the
experiences with municipal schools.
My naive and idealistic thought
flow is as follows:
- Rs. 75,000 / yr is needed to
'adopt' a municipal school
- This is a small amount for
companies, associations, groups, trusts, individuals, etc.
- So all the 1191 schools can
- Some corporate or big NGO or
the Rotary District should take up this cause jointly with
- The sponsors of 'adopted'
schools should form a forum along with BMC, etc.
- The forum then
disseminates info in their local areas and via the media
about what they have agreed to achieve, help needed, etc.
- Then problems of resource
shortages, apathy, corruption, etc. and structural problems
will get resolved relatively easily.
What would be the critical mass
of 'adopted' schools?
Maybe 25% i.e. 1 in 4. The
Rotary Clubs have adopted about 100. The discussions here
seem to indicate that NGOs and other Orgs have adopted
So critical mass is not
difficult to reach.
And it seems worthwhile for
someone to come forward to initiate such a forum now itself!
What say you?
I WAS PLEASED TO READ YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT SCHOOL.
I TRIED SAME IDEA IN MUMBAI 10 YEARS AGO AND IDEA DID NOT
I HAD CONTACTED ROTARY/LIONS AND MANY NGOS.
I HAD DONATED 1 LAC FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE FORUM
I HAVE APPOINTED MR DHULIA A SCHOOL EDUCATION OFFICER IN
MUMBAI AND HE IS DOING EXCELLENT WORK
WHAT THESE SCHOOL NEEDS ARE FUNDING.
WHO CAN ORGANISE.
Thank you for the
informative emails sent to us.
We are a 27 year old NGO engaged in the education of
children (mainly slum dwellers) and the treatment of Leprosy
and TB in the L and M Wards of Mumbai.
Our organisation was started and is still headed by an
Italian priest Fr. Carlo Torriani and Ms. Orsola Marchesi.
Mr. Paul Alemao is the Director.
I have been reading the various emails from different NGOs
with regard to their views on the standard of education in
Municipal schools. We have around 300 schools in the L and M
wards of Mumbai and I agree that the system is bad. We have
found out that a VII Std. child is unable to recognise
numbers. When these children are promoted to the VIII and
have to be admitted to a private school they start failing
and eventually become school dropouts. Hence we decided to
do something. Since the education of quite a few of the
children in these two wards are sponsored by our
organisation we decided to start study classes and we are
pleased to tell you that there has been a marked improvement
studies. We also run 3 pre-primary centres (balwadis) where
a free meal is supplied daily and once a year we have a
Christmas Party for them in Everard Nagar, Sion. During the
year they receive clothes, medical treatment etc. We have
also started tailoring classes for school dropouts and
intend to provide other vocational courses in the course of
the year with the help of Govt. agencies, the spade work for
which is in progress.
Housing for our poor leprosy / TB patients is a major
problem. Right now with the finances that we have we provide
them with plastic sheets to cover their houses to shelter
them from the rain.
Rehabilitation of all our patients (make them self
sufficient) is our ultimate goal and we are working towards
We would appreciate any kind of support in our work. Be it
by way of providing school material (books, pencils, slates,
chalk) , sewing machines (second hand will do), computers.
Looking forward to receiving a response,
education to a hundred children
In Maharashtra and Gujrat they should certainly look at the
institutions who are working with the post Godra riot
victims. There is a school in BOrli in Raigadh district,
Maharashtra, which had adopted 125 such kids and was
looking after their boarding , lodging and education!! The
Trust , I am sure, closely monitors the progress of the kids
and make sure that the funding is used for them effectively.
An area where funds are much needed and seldon
allocated are to provide councelling through sensitive
people for these traumatised kids many of whom have seen
rapes, murders by bullets, fire, swords at the young age of
8-12 years.THat too of their own family. It is very
important that these children are not exploited by fanatic
groups and for that they must realise that it is not whole
communities that perpetuate such things. It is individuals
with vested interest who do this.... and everyone in society
needs to gaurd against this and especially remove this
impression form young mouldable minds ......which can easily
I am worried that the riot victims of the 1984 riots in
Delhi who were ghettoised in West Delhi must have gone
through the same traumas..... if the worried and fears whcih
are so genuine can not be got out of the system what they
would lead to is truely a scary thought.
I would have liked to put these thoughts across to the
Loomba trust but they dont seem to have any place ont heir
site where i could have written. I hope you have soem way of
passing this on , Vinay.
with warm regards
UK-based businessman Raj Loomba, the founder chairman of
the Pushpawati Loomba Trust, a UK-based charity aims to
provide education to a hundred children of poor widows in
each State in India. www.theloombatrust.org
Mira Road is a new township situated at the outskirts
of Mumbai. Township is surrounded by Jungle (National Park)
and seashore. Original residents are Adivasis and fisherman
living in villages though the new locality compromises of
middle class people.
There are some schools in Mira Road run by Municipal
Corporation and Adivasi Mandals for children's of these
folks. But these schools are in dilapidated condition
because of short of funds. No proper, roof no drinking
water, no proper teachers, insufficient class rooms etc.
though lot of open space is available.
We want to know what kind of help anyone can provide
these or one of this school and what will be the role of our
Rotary Club of Mira Road.
The Bombay Community
Municipal School Education
in Mumbai – A meeting of VOs
A meeting of Voluntary
Organisations (VOs) working with the schools of Municipal Corporation of
Greater Mumbai (BMC) was convened by BCPT. The meeting was held on
Wednesday, August 25, 2004 from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. at the Smt. Premlila
Thackersay Committee Room, SNDT Women’s University, 1 Nathibai Thackersay
Road, New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400 020.
The objectives of the meeting
· Understand the different approaches used and activities conducted
· Avoid duplication of efforts
· Share best practices
· Liaison with MCGM
participated in the meeting. Also present were Mr. Bhimrao Gaikwad, Chief
Community Development Officer, Education Department, BMC and Ms. Rukmini
Srinivasan from Times of India. List of participants and VOs is enclosed.
After a welcome and a brief
introduction to BCPT, three speakers addressed different facets of working
with MCGM Schools. Initially, Mr Ramesh Joshi, General Secretary, Centre for
Public Education (CPE), an organisation of municipal school teachers, talked
about the initiatives taken by the Centre to improve the quality of teaching
and the mindset of teachers. Mrs Bina Lashkari, Director of the Society for
Door-step Schools (DSS) spoke about the work of DSS and its efforts at
collaborating with the MCGM administration. Mrs Farida Lambay, a Founder
Trustee of Pratham spoke about the survey undertaken by Pratham in Mumbai
city under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (a scheme floated by the Govt. of India
to ensure free education for all children in the age group of 6 to 14
The findings of the survey
· 97% of the children are in school today
· 54% of these children drop out between the 3rd and 7th
standards, some reasons being:
a) no exams till 4th std.
b) Limited access to free education after 7th std.
c) Parents prefer to enrol their children into a private school in
standard fifth so that completion of school education is ensured. Securing
admission in 8th std is more difficult.
· 22% of children in std. five do not know how to read and write
· 89,000 children were out of school at the time when survey was
completed, of which 10,000 were street children
She also outlined measures
that could be initiated to make the VOs work more effective and to upgrade
In the post lunch sessions,
small groups of participants were formed to have discussions on the
2. Retention of students and Preventing Drop outs
3. Enabling Environment
4. Igniting Minds
5. Ensuring Completion of School
6. Community Participation, Collaboration and Sustainability Issues
Some salient points that
emerged during the discussions were as under:
Current status of
education in municipal schools in Mumbai
· The most marginalised sections of society populate BMC schools
· Enrolment rate in BMC schools is dropping particularly in schools
located in city proper.
· Lack of adequate teachers; a large number of teaching posts have not
· Teachers faced problems of large classrooms (in some schools),
administrative responsibilities and additional non-teaching assignments
· Physical infrastructure in many schools is in
The above situation exists
despite the fact that BMC teachers are all qualified and well trained and
the systems are in place. What is lacking, as perceived by the participants
· Interest of the administration in the education process
· Accountability on the part of the teachers and administration
· Proper mind-set of the teachers, principals and others directly
connected with schools
The School Adoption
The SAP was formulated by the
BMC in 1991. A large number of VOs have partnered with the BMC on the SAP.
· Despite inflow of resources - monetary, human and material through
VOs, the impact of SAP on improving the quality of education has not been
· VOs and BMC administration and staff rarely work as equal partners in
the SAP; due recognition has not been given to the work done by VOs.
· VOs are largely perceived as ‘money-bags’ which are there to give
donations for items required by the schools staff.
Issues need to be tackled at three levels:
a) streamlining the BMC’s Education department; in terms of general
attitude, decision making, accountability and communication with all
b) Delegation of authority and decentralisation of the BMC’s decision
making process was required and active involvement of citizens needs to be
c) improve the quality of education imparted; to impact actual learning
to take place
d) provide and maintain basic amenities and infrastructure such as
water, toilets, lights, fans, telephones in the school premises
e) create and develop a clean and attractive environment which would
f) develop links with local anganwadis and balwadis to ensure enrolment
of students in standard 1.
g) demonstrate their work and show visible results to parents, school,
h) ensure the sustainability of their efforts
i) come together to address issues with a single voice, share good
practices and avoid duplication of efforts and services
j) Revamp the SAP – VOs need to network,
A Forum of VOs under the aegis of BCPT should be initiated.
ii. Formulate a common goal and work towards this. It could be:
a) Making BMC Schools No.1
b) Ensure all children read and write and are par with their
c) Every child in school, every school beautiful and every child
iii. The Forum will develop a partnership pact (or a
BMC-VO Bond) which
will identify the different roles and responsibilities.
iv. The Forum should liaison with the two Committees appointed by the
Mumbai High Court to look into problems faced by BMC Schools. These are:
a) Academic Standards Committee
b) Infrastructure Committee
The meeting ended with
participants agreeing to meet in smaller groups to continue the discussions
and take the process further.
For further dialog, email email@example.com
Ms. Harsha Parekh, Executive Trustee
Each One Teach One Computer Lab
One Teach One Computer Lab
A charitable foundation in
India's commercial capital Mumbai is keeping school
children in touch with the latest developments in
technology. Each One Teach One uses its small computer lab
to offer daily classes to municipal school students who
otherwise cannot afford computer training. The Each One
Teach One Charitable Foundation grew out of a deep
commitment to help under-privileged children in Municipal
Schools. These children are provided with daily
necessities such as uniforms, books, stationery, extra
coaching and a healthy mid-day snack.
Contact: Kiki Tanna, Each One, Teach
One, 32,Gope Nivas, 275,Sion
East Road, Mumbai-400 022. INDIA Tel: 91-22-409 4778/
91-22-409 4510 Fax: 91-22-401 7430 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org