Maths, science olympiad may be extended to aided schools

The maths and science olympiad conducted by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) for students of government schools to help them in better understanding of the two crucial subjects may be extended to aided institutions from the next academic year onwards.

“When the olympiad was conducted for the first time last year, many students from aided schools wanted to take part. But we turned down their request as the examination was meant only for students of government schools,” an SSA official said, requesting anonymity.

The proposal has not, however, taken final shape as various modalities are to be worked out. The SSA is to decide on the number of schools that want to take part and the funds required.

The official further said the proposal would require approval from the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (Unicef) which had funded it last year. “We will work out other modalities once Unicef gives its approval,” the official added.

The Karnataka State Quality Assessment and Accreditation Council and other agencies, which were in charge of conducting and evaluating the examination last year, would be notified if the proposal gets the go-ahead, the official said.

School principals reacted differently to the proposal. Padmini S, Principal, RV Girls’ School, Jayanagar, said that the initiative was noble but her institution would take part only after considering all the pros and cons.

“While students from our school regularly attend such olympiads, taking part in an initiative organised by the department of public instruction would be a very good thing. Since we follow the State syllabus, our students will certainly find the olympiad helpful,” she said.

H V Ramesh, Principal, BHS School, Basavanagudi, welcomed the initiative but also stressed caution. “We would certainly take part but only if we do not have to pay for it,” he said.

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