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12.5k students from PMC schools won't get uniforms till August

Principals say that despite most students being from poor families and needing the uniforms, civic body delays them every year

It seems the PMC does not learn from its mistakes.

Though the new academic year will commence in June, as many as 12,500 students studying in PMC-run high schools will have to wait till August to receive the two pairs of school uniforms which the civic body hands out to students every year.


It’s a long road: The tendering process for the uniforms was  initiated recently. Representation pic

Even last year, the PMC was able to hand out uniforms to the students only on August 15. The corporation runs 28 high schools and 4 junior colleges.

Timeline
The PMC central store department has recently initiated the tendering process to decide on a contractor for supplying the uniforms. Finalising the contractor will take nearly a month and another two months will be needed for the contractor to complete the big work order.

“Students start asking us about the uniforms from the first day of school itself. Many students in our schools come from families that are not well off and hence the uniforms are not a luxury but a need for them. Despite being aware of this, the PMC delays handing out the uniforms every year,” said a school principal, on condition of anonymity.

Blame game
“In this year’s budget, we have a provision of R80 lakh for school uniforms for students studying between Std VII and Std XII in high schools. The contractor will be finalized in the next 15 days. But yes, the students will receive uniforms only in August,” said Srinivas Kandul, Superintending Engineer of PMC (central storeroom).

Asked about the delay, Kandul said, “The annual budget of the corporation comes into effect in April. According to a new notification of the accounts department, we can’t float a tender without having the requisite budgetary provision.

Hence, we could initiate the process for getting the uniforms only now.”

PMC Education Officer (Secondary) Meenakshi Raut said, “Last year, we had distributed uniforms on August 15. It seems the same thing will happen this year too. In fact, last year we had initiated the tendering process earlier and were delayed this year due to the model code of conduct.

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