Maitreyee Boruah, DNA Bangalore, Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011, 8:24 IST


...Canít Yeddyurappa spare some money for schools too?

A major crisis is looming in the education sector in Karnataka due to lack of teachers and infrastructure facilities. At least 10,000 government schools have closed down in the last one decade while experts predict that another 850 are likely to down shutters by 2011-end.

This, despite the state governmentís grand plan of achieving 100% literacy in Karnataka by setting up a primary school within one km radius and a secondary school within 3 km radius of every human habitation.

As per the District Information System for Education (DISE), the problem is so acute that 4,712 schools have only one teacher each, and 75% schools have just two classrooms to accommodate the children.

Due to low quality of education and infrastructure facilities, around 500 schools were closed down in 2008-09, and another 490 shut doors in 2009-10.

A group of rural children from various parts of Karnataka on Tuesday submitted memoranda to chairman, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, Justice SR Nayak, chairperson of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Nina Nayak, and chief justice of Karnataka high court JS Khehar, demanding an end to their deprivation of basic education.

They will submit a memorandum to primary and secondary education minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Jan 27. The children also alleged that they had to pay bribes to their teachers to avail government-sponsored bicycles and scholarships.

In 2010, the education department submitted to high court that of the 46,199 government schools in Karnataka, half of them do not have toilets, particularly for girls; 25% schools are without drinking water facilities; 51% without playgrounds; 72% without kitchen facilities for midday meals; and 49 % without facilities for the physically-challenged children.

This being the status quo, now the million-dollar question is how will the Right to Education Act be implemented from this academic year?


DNA, 26 January, 2011