Govt to double kindergarten schools across the state

An internal survey conducted by the Education department has revealed that 40% of the children who joined pre-primary classes were from the upper middle-class background. DH File Photo

Buoyed by the demand for admissions at state-run kindergarten schools, the government has planned to double their number during 2010-21 academic year.

During the academic year 2019-20, the state government set-up KG schools at 276 Karnataka Public Schools (KPS). The government came up with the idea of KPS to ensure that children have access to education - from pre-primary and class 12 on a single campus. The intake of students to LKG (Lower Kindergarten) at these schools was restricted to 30. According to the information available from the Education department, at present more than 8,000 children had been enrolled for KG classes at government schools.

A senior official of the department said that the aim was to set up 1,000 KPSes in the state in the next four years. “This will be done in a phased manner and during 2020-21 we are planning to start 225 more KPS with pre-primary classes at all of them,” the official stated. The department is also planning to open KG classes in schools other than KPSes.

An internal survey conducted by the department revealed that 40% of the children who joined pre-primary classes were from an upper middle class background. “Earlier, parents used to send their wards to private schools as there was no pre-primary facility at government schools. But, now a majority of them have switched to government schools,” the official said.

The official said that the quality of teachers hired by the government for pre-primary classes was on a par with that in private schools. The teachers have been appointed through outsourcing and trained to handle KG children.

However, opening of pre-primary classes at government schools has not gone down well with anganwadi workers. They claim that the measure had brought down admissions at anganwadi centres and they were losing their jobs.

The officials of the Education and Women and Child Welfare departments held a meeting to address the concerns of the anganwadi workers. They were told that anganwadi teachers would be appointed to pre-primary classes.

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