To tackle the disruption in the education sector due to COVID-19 pandemic the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will soon be taking up a survey to identify children begging on streets or those working as hawkers. The BBMP is planning to conduct bridge courses to bring them into mainstream schools.
After the outbreak, reports indicated a massive dip in the number of admissions in schools. Students from families who were financially hit had to drop out of schools. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet.
Nagendra Naik, Assistant Commissioner (Welfare), BBMP, said that while the survey would primarily focus on slums and areas with migrant workers' settlements, it would also be conducted in other residential areas.
"Thus far, we have onboard 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," said the commissioner,
The move comes after the Karnataka High Court directed 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, reported The Indian Express.
Going ahead the civic body plans to introduce 'School On Wheels' by converting discarded buses into mobile schools. These portable schools would then ensure the facilities reach the children residing in far-flung areas.
According to the report, ten buses have been sought from the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) for this purpose. The bright yellow bus will be equipped with a whiteboard, cupboards for books, and ample space for children to sit for their lessons. Each bus is likely to cost ₹4 lakh.
A prototype of one such bus was inspected by BBMP Special Commissioners J. Manjunath and S.G. Raveendra. The buses would make rounds in areas where the number of out-of-school children is high. Teachers from the BBMP's schools will be deputed to teach these children.