Nation Current Affairs 04 May 2016 Karnataka: Education ...

Karnataka: Education department fails even elementary school

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHRINIVASA M
Published May 4, 2016, 2:49 am IST
Updated May 4, 2016, 3:03 am IST
The state government has supposedly invested Rs 18,000 crore a year in the upkeep of its schools.
It's believed that over the last three years , government schools have lost an average of one lakh students a year to private schools, which are now required to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for  disadvantaged children under the Right to Education (RTE ) Act.
 It's believed that over the last three years , government schools have lost an average of one lakh students a year to private schools, which are now required to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for disadvantaged children under the Right to Education (RTE ) Act.

The state government spends a whopping Rs 18,000 crore on 44,000 elementary schools run by the education department, yet private schools, fewer in number and with far less money are doing a much better job – they have better infrastructure, better staff and are attracting more students, even from the poorest sections, than do government schools. The question then is, should government continue to pour good money after bad?

The money spent is staggering, but the result is as dismal as ever. The state government has supposedly invested Rs 18,000 crore a year in the upkeep of its schools, but they remain in such poor condition even now that private schools, which are far fewer in number, are taking the majority of students, who are increasingly opting for them in recent years irrespective of their social backgrounds.

 

The damning evidence is presented  by the District Information System for Education (DISE) report for 2015-16, which says  of the 11,36,625 students, who joined class I across the state, 5,11, 730 preferred private unaided schools. Of the 5,87,674 boys, who were admitted to class I,  2,89,226 opted for the private schools and of the 5,48,951 girls, 2,22,504 preferred them as well.

Read: Guest column: English is the attraction, government doesn’t get it

The DISE data also reveals that of the 1.01 crore students studying in classes I and X, 36.51 lakh are in private schools and only 47.45 lakh  are in government schools today. It's believed that over the last three years , government schools have lost an average of one lakh students a year to private schools, which are now required to reserve 25 per cent of their seats for  disadvantaged children under the Right to Education (RTE ) Act. “Around four per cent of students, who are supposed to joined government schools are now going to private schools as a result of the RTE Act,” points out an officer of the education department.

 

But while RTE is certainly a factor,  many in the education department
feel the fall in enrolment of government schools is still a worrying trend. “There are very few private unaided schools in the state compared to the number of government schools, but they could still have the major chunk of students in days to come. The data has shown that more and more students and their parents have been opting for private schools over the last decade,” said another officer, suggesting that the government needed to act fast to check this slide in the admissions to its schools.

 

But the figures are hardly surprising given that  122 government schools are working  from dilapidated buildings and six with no buildings at all. Also, going by the DSE report of the 44,101 elementary schools run by the education department, 123  do not have girls' toilets and 563 have no electricity. As many as 18,956 schools don't have playgrounds either. While officials of the Department of Public Instruction claim facilities in government schools have improved over the last one year under schemes like the Swatch Bharath Abhiyan, they agree that a lot more needs to be done.

 

No marks for this

Children with special needs: Govt schools preferred choice
When it comes to providing inclusive education, however, government schools are doing better than private aided and unaided schools, and even local body and Central schools. Of the 1.05 lakh children with special needs studying from classes I to V, 80,347  are in government run schools and only 15,129 in  private unaided  and 8,200 in  private aided schools. As few as 80 children with special needs are studying in Central government schools, the DSCE report reveals.

 

Shortage of teachers
The state is acutely short of teachers both in government and private schools. While the sanctioned strength of faculty for all types of schools in the state is 73,725, there are only 62,896 actually working. As against the sanctioned number of 53,289 teachers in government schools, it has just 44,109, leaving the schools short of  9,109 teachers. Private unaided schools are supposed to have 18,824 teachers, but have 17,628 instead. 

Facilities in school
Of the 44,101 elementary schools run by the education department, 123 schools do not have girls’ toilets, 563 schools have no electricity and 18,956 have no
playgrounds. Among the 12,906 private schools, 2,259  don’t have playgrounds, three don’t have girls’ toilets and 1,100  don’t have libraries.

 

School infrastructure (elementary education)
As many as 122 government schools are operating from  dilapidated buildings and six have no building at all, reveals the DISE report. Far fewer private schools (four) operate from dilapidated buildings and two have no buildings at all. While 225 government schools are run in rented buildings as many as 3,678 private schools have rented buildings. Twenty nine private unaided schools are run in government buildings.

elementary education

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Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




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