State seeks Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan  funds for infra in government schools

State seeks Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan  funds for infra in government schools

State seeks Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan  funds for infra in government schools

The State Education department has appealed to the Ministry of Human Resources Development to divert the funds being allotted under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) towards improving infrastructure in government schools in the State.

Addressing reporters on Saturday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar said that after the enforcement of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, annually around one lakh students studying in government schools were being diverted to private schools.

The governments are bearing the fee amount of anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,000 per student to ensure their education in private schools. Already the State government had spent up to Rs 500 crore towards the fees of around four lakh students so far. By the time these students come to eight standard, the expenses would be around Rs 1,000 crore.

Not only were schools run by the government losing out on students, the government was also bearing additional expenditure. The same amount could be diverted towards improving infrastructure in government schools, he said.

Ratnakar said that he had conveyed his opinion to HRD Minister Smriti Irani during her recent visit to the City where she held a meeting with the department officials of all southern states.

The Ministry is coming out with a new education policy in January and has sought the opinions of all the states. He said that the Ministry should first furnish a draft policy, which would help the state governments understand the “intention” behind introducing certain clauses.

He said that the State had proposed a change in the age limit of children coming under compulsory education from 6 to 14 years, to 3 to 16 years. This would ensure that more children are brought into the mainstream.

Ratnakar has also proposed that anganwadis be brought under the Education department. Presently, anganwadis come under the purview of the Women and Child Development department. He contended that a majority of these children are later sent to private schools, as a result of which there were fewer takers for government schools.
The State has also proposed that Kannada be considered as the State language. As there are several vernacular languages in the State, the Ministry should consider the language that the majority population speaks. 

Ratnakar said that the State supported the no detention policy, as it would bring down dropout rates in schools.

The department has proposed that the calibre of students can be assessed by conducting tests for students of fourth and seventh standards, and the students can be valuated by parents and teachers. This would help the teachers and parents guide the students better. There was no need to grade students and detain the ones who have fared badly.

Of the 50,000-odd government schools, including corporation schools in the State, 462 schools had recorded zero admissions this year, he said.