The plan was chalked out by the plant management, which runs as many as 43 schools, keeping in mind that more than 20,000 students of Jharkhand look to other states every year for higher studies, including technical education.
Since last week, when the online tenders were posted, several organisations from New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Calcutta, Pune, Hyderabad and Jaipur have shown interest in opening management (BBA, MBA), hotel management, fashion and engineering colleges here.
"Even a small city like Bhilai has several engineering colleges but Bokaro has none that offers technical education," said S. Prasad, the general manager of Bokaro Steel.
The plant has decided to merge eight of its schools with less than 50 students each. Teachers of these schools would be accommodated in other schools in the city and seven vacant buildings would then be leased out for 33 years to trusts or societies for opening educational institutes here.
The tenders specified certain criteria: Only registered societies with financial turnover of not less than Rs 15 lakh were eligible to apply and were asked to submit expressions of interest with a proposal by August 20. The tenders would be opened the next day.
The seven schools that would be leased out include middle schools in sectors III-B, VIII-B, IX-B and XI-C, Bokaro Ispat vidyalayas in VIII-A and IX-A and the Lakda Khanda high school.
Sanjay Tewary, the chief of communications of Bokaro Steel Plant, said the number of employees had come down from 55,000 in the '90s to less than 26,000 till this June this year.
"As most company officials want their children to study in premier schools in or outside the state, there seems be to be no reason for running these institutes and suffering huge losses," he said.
He clarified that the plant wasn't closing down schools but merely merging them with others. "By this, we would be gaining a huge amount of money besides making the city an educational hub," said the senior officer.
Bokaro, Aug 3: Telegraph