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BMC should put money at the right place!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

“Why waste money for events when the BMC cannot provide books for school kids? (ADC July 8). The BMC councillor has raised an important and relevant point about the misplaced priorities of our BMC corporators. The tragedy is that it is not likely to make any difference. Criticism flows over the heads of our corporators like water off a duck's back. Their priorities rarely align with those of the citizens they are elected to serve. Their motto is "me first; and everyone else can fend for themselves." The reason that the quality of education in BMC schools is so pathetic in spite of Rs. 50,000-60,000 being "spent" on each student is that only a fraction of this amount reaches the intended beneficiaries. I do not need to point out where the rest of the money goes. Even when money is spent, it is often on fancy schemes which are more publicity stunts than anything else. What is the point of spending crores on providing tablets to kids who can barely read or do simple math. Why not increase the pay of teachers so that better qualified and experienced ones can be induced to join? Why not spend the money in improving the dismal infrastructure of municipal schools? The very fact that even poor families are willing to shell out a portion of their meagre income to send their children to private schools, even though free education is available to them, speaks for itself. But hey, we keep electing the same lot over and over again. So why should they bother?

— Firoze Hirjikaka, Colaba

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