Karnataka is set to start 64 model schools in educationally backward districts, which will include both Kannada and English medium schools, as part of the just-launched Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) programme in the State.

This is one of the first ambitious projects to come up in the State as part of the Centre-sponsored RMSA programme, aimed at universalising access and improving the quality of secondary education. This takes forward the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme launched eight years ago to universalise primary education. RMSA is being implemented with a 75:25 funding ratio between the Union Government and the State.

Selva Kumar S., State Project Director of SSA, told The Hindu that these schools, modelled after the Kendriya Vidyalayas, would come up in the first phase in all educationally backward blocks and more schools will be opened in the second phase. “As of now schools have been sanctioned and lands identified,” said Mr. Kumar. Further plans would be approved next month. With work on infrastructure expected to take about 18 months, admissions in schools may begin by the year after.

This year, under RMSA, 64 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) girls’ residential hostels would be upgraded to accommodate those studying in secondary schools.

The RMSA programme, which has been allotted Rs. 20,120 crore during the 11th Plan, has the target of achieving a general enrolment ratio of 75 per cent for classes 9 and 10 in five years from 52.26 per cent as in 2005-06 by providing a secondary school within a reasonable distance of every habitation — five km for secondary schools and seven to 10 km for higher secondary schools.

The programme has a focus on providing not only general education up to secondary level, but also providing opportunities for improvement of vocational knowledge and skill to enable them to be employable.

Keywords: KarnatakaModel Schools