After roof tiles fell on a Class 3 student in a Corporation School in Chennai, the Mayor Saidai S Duraiswami had requested Revolutionary Students and Youths Front (RSYF) volunteers to inspect 57 Corporation schools. Their report brings to light the poor maintenance of these temples of education. More than education, the place seems to be best suited for breeding rats and mosquitoes and parking garbage trucks. The volunteers found that the children did not have access to potable drinking water and in many cases water taps were not available. The schools require at least 1250 taps but have only 157. Many buildings are in a dilapidated state and the storage of materials is difficult as they are destroyed by rodents. The volunteers also pointed to the shortage of 177 teachers in these 57 schools. Corporation schools, which were once the epitome of knowledge, have over the years slipped on quality. Many schools are being shut down due to lack of students.
Education has been the prime focus of the government. But out of the Rs 14.50 crore allocated by the Corporation for education, only 34 per cent has been spent. This year’s Corporation budget has seen a slash of two-thirds in allocation to education. Though many private partners are ready to revamp this structure and bring it back to its past glory, it is the Corporation that should welcome private efforts to upgrade these. With 2 per cent of net profits mandated for CSR, several companies evince interest in taking up educational projects even without publicising their effort. Corporation should use these avenues to provide this essential service in a richer measure.