The Municipal body is planning to set up three schools offering Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) curriculum in the 2020-21 academic year. According to sources, the BMC Education department has already begun its search for vacant buildings to establish new schools. The members of civic education committee, in September, proposed to affiliate one civic school to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, popularly known as CISCE board on a pilot basis to attract students and curb dropouts. Now, the proposal has got a nod from the Municipal Commissioner.
Ashutosh Salil, Joint Municipal Commissioner and also in charge of the civic education department, and civic education officer Mahesh Palkar met with Gerry Arathoon, CISE secretary and CEO, to understand the processes.
“We have tried to understand the requirements of the ICSE curriculum and are working to start the schools from the next academic year. We have begun identifying vacant school buildings in Kandivli, Bhandup and a few more places,” said Salil. He further elaborated, “Since we already have the infrastructure we can begin soon. We have recently appointed nearly 60 teachers who are well versed in English and could be absorbed into the new schools. The Council has also offered to help train our teachers.”
Currently, the BMC is working out nuances to be able to provide the ICSE syllabus free of cost. “If we have to cater to students from economically weaker sections, we will have to provide education free or at a minimal cost. The only additional expenses would be the affiliation and examination cost,” Salil said. Department officials will also speak to CBSE officials soon.
The BMC, last year, did not allow schools to affiliate with the Maharashtra International Education Board (MIEB). The reason was that the board charged an affiliation fee, while the civic body wanted it free. In the upcoming academic year, the officials are unsure of embracing the MIEB, but members of the civic education committee said they would consider this option too. “The board, until last year, did not have the curriculum in place and the national boards were better established. However, we might now affiliate our schools to MIEB as well,” said Sainath Durge, member of the civic education committee and among those who had initiated the proposal.