While the city school students are gearing up for their mid-term examinations, students in the civic-run schools are still waiting for their uniforms. It has come to light that 70% of school uniforms, 33% school bags, 28% sandals, and 25% school shoes are yet to be supplied to the schools by the education department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Items like shoes, socks, comb, tiffin, rain boots, umbrellas, uniform, books, bags, sandals, tabs, BEST bus passes are issued to students of BMC schools in the beginning of an academic session in June. This scheme was introduced to attract more students to civic schools.
Confirming the same, Anjali Naik, head of BMC education committee said that the tendering process of all these supplies is still going on. "After failing to meet the deadline of August 15, the target date was extended to September 5.
Now, I've given another 15 days to get the work done. In case of failure, contractors will be blacklisted," said Naik.
It is the uniform which is taking most of the time. "A lot of activities go behind preparing uniforms — from measurements to stitching of the uniforms which usually takes around 90 days. Elections and floods pushed the deadline further as the contractors had an issue with completing the work," she added.
Meanwhile, 95% of rain essentials have been supplied, confirmed the officials. "The remaining 5% will be done by Saturday. By September, all other pending supplies will be delivered," added Naik.
According to sources close to the department, none of the essentials were supplied in schools at Kurla, Govandi, Mankhurd, Chembur, Byculla, Malad.
Meanwhile, when it comes to books, which is also included in the 27 items given by the civic body, schools are managing to gather old books or from the supplies provided by local NGOs so that students do not suffer.
"We are asking pass-out students to keep their books back in the school lockers which is being used by the fresh batch. As most of our students come from the slums. They cannot afford to buy all the books. This helps a lot as there are times when funds for books or books reach schools late. But that shouldn't affect our student's studies," said a Principal of a Mulund-based BMC school on the condition of anonymity.