Govt schoolchildren to get branded shoes this year

The department has set July 15 deadline for the supply of shoe and socks for children.

The students class 1 to 10 at government schools across the state will get to wear branded shoes for the 2019-20 academic year.

Following the complaints about the quality of shoes supplied under free shoe-shocks scheme last year, the department of primary and secondary education has issued an order directing School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs) to go for shoes from branded companies.

The department, which has set July 15 deadline for the supply of shoe and socks, has directed SDMCs to stick to international brands such as Bata, Liberty, Paragon, Lancer, Carona, Action and Lakhani. The SDMCs are authorised to take a decision on the shoe supplier.

The principal secretary to the department issued a government order on Monday warning that the head teachers, block education officers and deputy directors of public instruction would be held responsible in case of any complaint over the quality of shoes.

"We received a lot of complaints about the quality of shoes supplied during the academic year 2018-19. In this backdrop, we have issued an order asking schools to stick to international brands," said a senior official of the department.

It can be recalled that the then state primary and secondary education minister N Mahesh himself had checked the quality of shoes supplied to government schools at Chamrajnagar. This was following the complaints he received about the quality of shoes from some of the elected representatives. There are over 44.57 lakh beneficiaries.

Option for students

This year the department has also given the option for students studying at Malnad and North Karnataka regions to choose between shoes and sandals. The decision in this regard follows concerns from students that it would be difficult for them to wear shoes in Malnad during rains and during summer in North Karnataka. The government has asked the SDMCs to take a decision on the issue after giving priority to students' choice.

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