The infrastructure of as many as 6,840 government schools in Karnataka has scope for improvement. A recent analysis by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for the 2020-21 academic year on several parameters revealed that as many as 1,961 government schools have secured the D grade while 4,879 obtained the C grade.
A majority – 52.06 % (25,656 schools) – have obtained the B grade while 16,783 schools secured the A grade, as per the School Infrastructure Report.
While lower primary schools (classes one to five) have been graded on eight parameters, upper primary schools (classes six to seven/eight) are graded on 10 parameters, and high schools (classes eight to 10) on 11 parameters. They include school building, compound wall, toilet, drinking water, availability of electricity, playground, kitchen garden and library. Upper primary classes and high schools are also graded on availability of IT facilities, computer and science labs.
Most of the government schools do not have playground and kitchen gardens. The analysis also shows that in several schools, access to drinking water and adequate toilets continues to be a matter of concern.
A DPI official said that the aim of the exercise was to analyse and find out which schools need most financial support. “We will focus on improving C and D category schools, and urge the government to release funds for infrastructural development of the 6,840 schools that fall under this category,” the official added.
Basavaraj Gurikar, vice-president, All India Teachers’ Federation, said that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government should ensure that infrastructure in schools is revamped so that students have access to adequate toilets and safe drinking water. “This should be done on a war footing before all classes commence for the next academic year,” he said.