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Compulsory education up to Class 10

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Chitra V. Ramani

Bangalore: The State Government has decided to make it “compulsory from 2010 onwards for every child in Karnataka to get education at least up to 10 {+t} {+h} standard.”

Announcing this as part of budget 2010-11 here on Friday, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa claimed that the State would spend Rs. 8,830 crore for primary and secondary education and promised to give greater impetus to improve quality of primary education, especially in rural areas.

He said that the Government had resolved to provide all facilities over the next three years so that children of every school in the State can acquire education at least up to 10th standard.

Free bicycle scheme

A total of Rs. 200 crore has been allocated for the scheme of providing free bicycles to the high school boys and girls from rural areas, which has encouraged them to continue their education.

Under the Rashtriya Madhyamika Shiksha Abhiyan, programmes had been formulated to achieve all-round development of 545 high schools at a cost of Rs. 700 crore. He added that 74 model high schools would be established under the abhiyan during 2010-11.

Basic facilities

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that Rs.100 crore would be earmarked towards providing facilities of classrooms, equipment, drinking water and sanitation to all government schools and pre-university colleges in the State. The task of providing drinking water and toilet facilities in all government schools will be entrusted to the State's Rural Infrastructure Development Corporation.

A special allocation of Rs. 5 crore has been made to facilitate government teachers opting for degree and postgraduate studies for a period of two years. A total of Rs. 80 crore has been allocated towards construction of 250 pre-university colleges that have been opened over the past three years.

‘Disappointing'

Niranjan Aradhya from the Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University, termed the budget as “disappointing for the children of the State.” He said that the budget did not have a single mention about the important Right to Education Act that will come into force from April 1 this year. “Implementation of the Act is the joint responsibility of the Centre and State Governments. The Chief Minister has skirted the responsibility and has made no mention about the Act in the Budget.”

He said that there was “nothing original” in the budget either. Most of the schemes announced are translations of the Central schemes. “If the Chief Minister had announced a policy to make education till 10 {+t} {+h} standard compulsory, it would be an extension of Central legislation. The Government must have made a substantial allocation to implement the Act. There is nothing concrete for children aged between zero and six years either.”

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