Quality education takes a beating in Ashrama schools

Even after 40 years of inception institutes yet to produce graduate

Shocking as it may be, Ashrama schools by the state government to provide quality education to tribals has failed to produce a single graduate - even 40 years after they were opened.

Nearly 200 Ashrama schools with 20,000 children belonging to various tribes in the state are facing a bleak future, thanks to the mediocre quality of education.

The Ashrama schools were the brainchild of then minister Yashodhara Dasappa, who wanted to provide quality education to children from tribal areas.

So the social welfare department undertook theresponsibility to provide education. And 40 years later, the schools are in doldrums.

With education department failing to take them under their wings, majority of the children studying in these schools are said to dropout by the time they reach high school.

Until 1990, children belonging to tribes such as Soliga, Suji Soliga, Yerava, Jenukuruba, Betta Kuruba, Iruliga, Malekudiya, Hasala, Koraga were admitted to these schools.

Later, children from Beda and Valmiki tribes were also admitted.As of now, 20 schools with 2000 children are functioning in Hunsur, Periyapatna, H D Kote taluks.

But majority of schools, don’t have wardens, headmasters and teachers for subjects including science, maths and Hindi. Existing staff are working on a contract basis.

DEED, a non-governmental organisation, conducted a survey of 23 schools recently and found that only 3 per cent of students can read English.

Not only limited to English, the survey revealed that only 10 per cent can solve maths, 30 per cent can read and write Kannada. But none know to read or write Hindi.

The survey indicates that when a child from a tribe joins school, he doesn’t know Kannada.

They communicate in a language of their own, but no syllabus is being provided to teach them in their own language.

Unless education department takes up the Ashrama schools and social welfare department looks after the hostel, the future is bleak for tribal children, says DEED director S Srikanth.

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