Monday, March 21, 2016

Karnataka Budget 2016-17

Few Comments and responses on Education 
Vasudeva Sharma

It’s a welcome aspect that the Chief Minister has talked about raising the quality in Govt schools and has brought in five new programmes (99): Education Quality Improvement Programme; Quality Assurance Initiatives; Technology Assisted Learning; Incentives to Students for Universalization of Primary Education and Students Motivation programmes.
In the last three years lakhs of children have been enrolled in Non Govt and unaided schools through Sec. 12.1(c) of the RTE Act. We had a big cry about the same as to who is monitoring the safety, security and dignity of these children, let alone quality of their learning. I am happy to see that the Govt is planning to monitor the quality of learning of these children. But, I expect the Govt not just monitor the learning levels, but also the safety, pressure on parents where the Schools are demanding extra fee, discrimination on the basis of class/caste, etc.
The focus on improving the quality of education in Govt schools is also a welcome aspect (reorgnising Nali Kali’. Attention on maths learning in class 4 and 5. This requires employment of teachers or deployment of teaches who can teach maths in a friendly and non threatening manner. I am generally curious to know what would be the relationship between NGOs and the Govt in ‘quality improvement and students’ motivation’ that has been planned to be extended. The Govt should mention what is the costs (50%) in terms of rupee and pai.
Althogh it is a good idea to have supplementary teaching during vacations for students with poor learning achievements in Government schools. I am not sure about the motivation part of the Govt teachers in this. I also want to know whether the teacher community has been taken into confidence before making this kind of an announcement.
While welcoming the idea of providing digital literacy to all students in Government high schools, with a comprehensive e-content driven programme through high school teachers, ‘IT@Schools in Karnataka’. But, looking into the past experiences, questions on power supply, safety to equipments, software and most importantly providing TEACERS or instructors who has real knowledge of it teaching has to be addressed.
All institutions who are running education institutions should be very happy to see the proposal to streamline and bringing transparency in various registration and issuing permissions as the Govt is planning to bring in SAKALA to this. But, the question is why are you stressing on introducing CBSE and ICSE in non govt schools, why don’t you bring the same standards in Govt schools? Although it is a constitutional right, I question the Govt on why should you go on issuing NOCs to give minority status to institutions. Why don’t you insist on educational institutions to be universal? The Govt has said that procedures to reimbursement to NGO run schools will be streamlined. I hope in this the Govt will take note that most schools are enjoying Sec.12 A and 80 G status and so have an obligation towards the Society.
I whole heartedly welcome the proposal that the Govt is going to insist the schools have to disclose the details of teaching and infrastructure resources in all NGO run schools and colleges on a public website. But, this should include non teaching staff also and the same details should be published in the school too. (103)
Bringing 6 Teachers’ Training Colleges under the administration of Department of Higher Education (106) is a good development, but, we wish child protection and child rights issues are introduced in the syllabus.
During 2016-17, a total amount of Rs. 17,373 Crore is provided to Primary and Secondary Education Department. I am generally interested in knowing about what is the expense incurred during the last three financial years on primary education. We keep seeing several crores being allocated in the budget, but the actual expense is always a mystery.
My complaint is that whatever may the budgetary allocations, the actual expnses takes place at the fag end of the financial year. I am told that shoes are bought now, second set of the uniform is yet to reach the children, etc.

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