KEA for merger of SSLC, PU boards

The Karnataka Evaluations Authority has recommended that the SSLC and the PU boards be merged in order to bring the State’s education system on a par with that at the national level.

This, the Authority said, will not only streamline the education system, but also help reduce the financial burden.

“In addition, it will make the conduct of exams more efficient as a single body will take care of both exams,” a study on secondary education undertaken by the Authority, in co-ordination with the Forum of Karnataka Retired Education Officers, says.

A study on the sector

In the study titled ‘A Critical Study of Secondary Education Sector in Karnataka,’ KEA has found that 42 per cent of children between 14 and 18 years of age are not part of the secondary school system in the State and that there is also a high gender disparity in enrolment to secondary education.

It has noted that in classes 8, 9 and 10, identified as part of secondary education in the State, special efforts are required to encourage enrolment of girls by designing suitable incentives.

The study also makes several observations about existing programmes, policies and status of secondary education in the State. The Authority and the Forum observe that students have migrated to unaided English medium schools, resulting in a crisis for government schools.

“Even if there are private schools in the area, in urban spaces like Bangalore, there is a need for government schools to cater to students from poor economic background,” the report states.

It also recommends the State government to begin focusing on distance education facilities, in collaboration with the National Open School, as a way to increase enrolment of those who are not able to be a part of the formal secondary education system.

In addition, the scholarship distribution process needs to be streamlined as every district has its own procedure with no monitoring system to ensure that scholarships reach the beneficiaries, it points out. A suggestion has been made to the State government to increase its per child expenditure and its allocation for every district under programmes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan to optimally utilise the Central funds. The government has not been able to fully utilise these funds except for 2007-08, the report observes.

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