Students opt for pvt schools

Students opt for pvt schools

English teaching wins over more schools, free text-books and uniforms

The Expenditure Reforms Commission, which recently submitted its interim report to the State Government, found that between 2006 and 2009 nearly 2.5 lakh students opted for private schools over government schools for their upper primary schooling. The number of students enrolling into upper primary schools dropped from 15.57 lakh in 2006 to 13.33 lakh in 2009, even as the number of upper primary schools increased from 19,807 to 21,976 in the same period.

The shrinking enrolment is despite the government providing students with free text books, uniforms and mid-day meals, the commission headed by former bureaucrat B K Bhattacharya said in the report.

Why private schools? “Private schools are imparting better linguistic and communication skills and laying better foundation in Mathematics and Science, improving children’s prospects of further studies. This is the factor that is motivating parents to prefer private schools,” the report stated. In other words, the attraction of English as a medium is strong.

Recommending to the government to strengthen language teaching, besides improving proficiency in Mathematics and Science, the Commission has suggested an overhaul of the Primary and Secondary Education department to make Government lower and upper primary schools as attractive as private schools.

It has observed that key to the better teaching is not in the teacher-to-pupil ratio alone, but the quality of teachers plays a major role. Nothing much can be achieved by simply increasing physical infrastructure (schools) and ignoring the quality of teaching, the report said.

In another important recommendation, the commission has said the Government should try to fill at least some per centage of teaching posts in higher primary schools with graduates who have studied English, Kannada, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Life Sciences as optional subject in their degree courses. All those teachers who do not have degree qualification should be encouraged to pursue degree courses. Existing graduate teachers should be given additional increment. This, according to the Commission, will considerably improve the quality of teaching.

Presently, teachers are appointed in higher primary schools with the minimum qualification of pre-university plus DEd.

The report has also observed that science laboratories at schools and colleges are poor and said the Government should consider setting up a fully equipped centralised laboratory in every district, which can be used by a cluster of schools and colleges on a time-sharing and payment basis. The Government may also explore public private partnership model to establish and maintain the laboratories.

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