Old BMTC buses to be re-purposed into mobile schools
Door-to-door survey to be taken up across the city to identify out-of-school children
The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a drop in the number of admissions in schools while young children, who should be in school, are found selling miscellaneous items or begging on the streets. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will soon be taking up a survey to identify such children and plans to conduct bridge courses to bring them into mainstream schools.
The civic body has sought 10 buses from the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). These old buses will be re-purposed into mobile schools.
A prototype of one such bus was inspected by BBMP Special Commissioners J. Manjunath and S.G. Raveendra on Monday. The bright yellow bus will have a white board, cupboards for books and ample space for children to sit for their lessons. Each bus is likely to cost the civic body ₹4 lakh.
Mr. Manjunath said that the buses would be sent to areas where the number of out-of-school children is high. Teachers from the BBMP’s schools will be deputed to teach these children. “We are yet to finalise on the bus prototype,” he said.
A door-to-door survey will be taken up across the city to identify out-of-school children, said Nagendra Naik, Assistant Commissioner (Welfare), BBMP. He said that while the survey would focus on slums and areas with migrant workers’ settlements, it would be taken up even in other residential areas.
“Thus far, we have on board 48 non-governmental organisations for the survey, and more are likely to join in. During the survey, all details of children aged between six and 14 years will be collected, including those who have not been to any school and children who have dropped out of school,” he said.
The survey is being taken up following directions from the Karnataka High Court to the State government to come out with a scheme to identify such children to ensure that benefits of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 could be extended to them.
The survey will follow a one-day workshop on ‘Prevention of child beggary and child hawking’ organised by the civic body, in association with the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, Police Department, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Women and Child Welfare on Tuesday.