RITU SHARMA : Ahmedabad, Thu Nov 07 2013, 04:31 hrs
The new buildings are in Ellisbridge, Dani limda and Vasna are expected to be inaugurated after Diwali vacations.
"Once the Diwali vacations are over, the municipal school board plans to undertake massive work for new schools. While financial assistance from Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) would be taken, NGOs would also be roped in for running these schools, specially in economically backward areas," said AMC School Board Chairman Jagdish Bhavsar. At present, there are 456 municipal schools with 1.6 lakh students in Ahmedabad.
As per the plans, bhumipujan (rituals) of a new 10-room school building at Piplaj area in Narol with assistance from SSA would be done after Diwali. At present, a primary school is running since January 2012 in a pre-fabricated structure. This caters to nearly 450 children of rehabilitated families from Sabarmati riverfront.
Another school with approval from AMC Building Committee and Standing Committee is scheduled to start construction in Vatva. Also, a new school in Narol village was started in June, this year. Majority of these new schools will offer Gujarati as the medium of instruction.
The new schools are coming up in economically backward areas of east, south and north zones of Ahmedabad. These are the areas where rehabilitated and migrated colonies are settled from Sabarmati riverfront after the area was vacated for the development work and some of the slum areas from where Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridors are passing.
Already, development projects like Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Sabarmati riverfront has led to decline in student enrolment in municipal schools. For instance, there are nearly 30 municipal schools around Sabarmati riverfront. The number of students in these schools, till the rehabilitation of slums, was around 10,000. However, after the demolition of slums in October 2011, the number drastically fell by more than 50 per cent.
Further, according to the study conducted by the municipal school board, the construction of BRTS corridors across the city proved to be a hindrance in children commuting to school. "Small children failed to cross the barricaded BRTS corridors. Also, their parents sceptical of traffic, did not allow them to commute to schools resulting in dropouts," Bhavsar said.
The areas where these new primary schools will come up include Bapunagar, Arbudanagar, Nikol ward, Rakhial, Vatva Behrampura, Danilimda, Khokhra, Lambha, Amraiwadi, Rajpur, Isanpur and Thakkarbapanagar. With a nearby school distance of 1-5 km, the estimated students calculated by the municipal school board is nearly 6,800 varying from 150 to 500 in each school.