‘Dropout rate among girl children a matter of concern’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that the Higher Education Department must focus on improving the enrolment of women in colleges in Hyderabad Karnataka region where the dropout rate was a matter of concern. He was responding to Higher Education Minister R.V. Deshpande’s announcement that tuition and lab fees of 1.20 lakh women studying in private-aided colleges would be reimbursed this year.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for College ‘Shikshana Soudha’ here on Friday, Mr. Siddaramaiah said while the reimbursement scheme was a good initiative, it was important to ensure that girls in regions outside Bangalore and Mysore also benefit by it. Only quality education can bridge gender disparity and ensure social justice, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the government had decided to extend Vidya Siri scheme to 50,000 students this year. The scheme provides financial assistance of Rs. 15,000 annually to students who cannot get accommodation in hostels.

Speaking about the various programmes of the department, Mr. Deshpande said the department hopes to increase the gross enrolment ratio in higher education to 35 per cent by 2020. More guest lectures would be recruited and transfers of lecturers would be done through counselling, in an attempt to introduce transparency, he said. The department had introduced a common calendar for admission, exams and results across the State, he added.

Loan scheme

The event also saw the launch of Rajiv Gandhi Loan Scholarship Scheme for poor students to avail loans up to Rs. 60,000 per annum through Vijaya Bank and SyndicateBank.