Govt plans to start model schools in rural areas

12,000 guest teachers to be appointed soon

The Karnataka government is contemplating on “model schools” with state-of-the-art infrastructure at the  gram panchayat level to provide quality education to rural students.

Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Rathnakar told reporters here that the proposed model ‘best’ schools with classes one to eight will also have transport facilities to ferry students to the schools and back to their homes. The concept, the minister said, would help provide rural students quality education on a par with that provided in private schools.

“On account of large-scale migration to urban areas, many rural pockets have schools with just three to four students. These students can be shifted to nearby model schools. Distance should not be a problem as transport would be provided to them,” the minister said. There were around 3,000 schools facing shortage of students, he added.

The government would welcome contributions from corporates, organisations or even individuals to fulfil the infrastructure requirement in the proposed schools.
The donors could have a say in managing the schools, Rathnakar said.

He said Rs 3,000 crore was required for improving present infrastructure in government schools and another Rs 1,500 crore for the similar task in state-run pre-university colleges. He said a major part of the Rs 15,000 crore annual grant from the Centre for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was being spent on salaries and mid-day meal scheme.

Textbooks and uniform

Rathnakar blamed the previous BJP government for the delay in providing uniforms and textbooks to students. “They should have taken suitable steps in January itself,” he said and added that around 13,000 students in Belgaum and Mysore divisions were yet to receive their uniforms and textbooks. Steps would be taken to ensure that these students get the uniforms and textbooks within the next 15 days.

The minister said he had taken note of some “objectionable content” in a few textbooks and they would be removed from the next academic year as the textbooks for the present year have already been printed. The government will soon appoint 12,000 guest teachers to make up for the shortage of faculty in schools.
They would be paid a honorarium of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 per month, he added.

Minister not averse to bicycle scheme

Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Rathnakar on Wednesday said his department was for continuing all programmes launched by the previous BJP government.

Asked in particular whether the government would continue the scheme of providing bicycles to high school students in government schools, Rathnakar said he would discuss the issue with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “The scheme requires Rs 200 crore per annum. We will take an appropriate decision while finalising the budget proposals. Personally, I am for continuing all good programmes”, he said.

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