Scheme providing admissions was launched in 2011

Though the scheme providing for admissions to children of nomadic and semi-nomadic groups was launched in 2011, it is yet to become popular among some of these groups in the State.

Under the scheme, children from these groups would be admitted to residential schools in the departments of Social Welfare, Backward Classes and Minorities and the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) in the State.

The nomadic and semi-nomadic groups do not have permanent homes and they wander from place to place according to the seasons in search of work and livelihood. Most of them live in pitched tents.

Mysore District Social Welfare Officer Rajesh Gowda told The Hindu that children were being admitted to class VI through a common entrance test in the State to the residential schools. Entrance tests were being conducted in March every year, results announced in April and counselling for admissions done in May.

The result percentage in class X across the State had increased tremendously in the schools since the introduction of the scheme in 2011. Mysore had achieved 90 per cent last year in the Morarji Desai (co-education) and Kittur Rani Chennamma (girls only) residential schools last year, Mr. Rajesh Gowda said.

As much as 70 per cent of the students had passed out with first class last year in the district. The objective is to pull the groups out of poverty and secluded life and put them into the mainstream, he said.

The best part of the scheme is that children admitted would enjoy everything free right from school fees, books, food, accommodation (hostel). The government spent Rs. 850 per child per month as maintenance. Students getting admissions would study free till they pass out of class X. Funds were routed through the Social Welfare Department to Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions’ Society which runs the schools. There were 13 such residential schools under the Social Welfare Department, three under the Backward Classes and Minorities Department and four under the ITDP in Mysore district, Mr. Rajesh Gowda stated.

The number of admissions under STs group, group II-B (Muslims) and group I such as “Bestha”, “Bunde Bestha”, “Mogaveera”, “Parivara”, “Devadasi” and others are very few, Mr. Rajesh Gowda said. The department did not receive enough applications from them seeking admissions, he said and agreed to a point that awareness among those groups needed to be enhanced.

Some of the students admitted to class VI could leave the school by the time they reached the next class and it could repeat in the next class as well. There would be gaps in such cases. The Karnataka State B.R. Ambedkar Safai Karamchari Students Development Organisation here has placed a request before the Social Welfare Department to admit students of the pourakarmikas to fill those gaps, Mr. Rajesh Gowda said. In such cases, admissions could be made by arranging for entrance tests at the school-level itself, he added.

More In: Karnataka | National