Improving school infra, programmes to improve learning outcomes announced in Karnataka budget


PTI, Feb 16, 2024, 5:19 PM IST

Representative image (source: Pinterest)

Bengaluru: Announcing schemes for the education sector in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday allocated Rs 850 crore towards improving infrastructure in government schools and pre-university colleges in Karnataka, and listed various programmes to improve learning outcomes.

He also announced that more Karnataka Public Schools will be established, with the objective of providing pre-primary to pre-university education, while 2,000 government primary schools will be upgraded as bilingual schools.

As of May 2021, the state has a total of 276 Karnataka Public Schools.

The University of Vishweshwaraiah College of Engineering will also be upgraded on the lines of IITs at a cost of Rs 100 crore, the chief minister announced.

Presenting the state budget for 2024-25 in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, Siddaramaiah said, “Our government has given a strong emphasis on improving infrastructure in government schools and pre-university colleges. In 2023-24, an expenditure of Rs 600 crore was made towards this end. In the current year, Rs 850 crore will be provided for this purpose.”

More Karnataka Public Schools will be started with the objective of providing pre-primary to pre-university education under one roof with the help of CSR grants.

The Ganitha-Ganaka programme will be started in collaboration with J-PAL Institute for students in classes 3 to 5, Siddaramaiah announced. The purpose of this programme is to make children like and learn mathematics, he added.

Marusinchana Programme will be taken up at a cost of Rs 10 crore to improve the learning ability of students of classes 6 and 7 who are lagging behind, while Rs 50 crore will be earmarked for providing science and computer labs and internet facility under a two-year package in government high schools with higher enrollment, the chief minister said.

Siddaramaiah said 2,000 government primary schools will be upgraded as bilingual schools (Kannada and English).

Navu Manujaru, an interactive two-hour class involving discussion and debates, will be conducted every week in all schools and colleges. These classes will promote ideas of social harmony, scientific temper and coexistence, he added.

Seventy-four Adarsh schools in the state will be upgraded as pre-university colleges with Commerce and Science subjects in combination. Further, Computer Science combination subjects will be introduced in 100 government pre-university colleges having the highest enrollment, at a cost of Rs 10 crore.

A grant of Rs 10 lakh each will be provided to upgrade science labs in pre-university colleges that have an enrollment of more than 400 students in the science stream, he said.

NEET/JEE/CET training programme will be organised for about 20,000 students studying in science stream in government pre-university colleges at a cost of Rs 10 crore, he added.

“Our government has decided to provide all government schools and pre-university colleges with free electricity and water facility. This will benefit 46,829 government schools and 1,234 pre-university colleges of the state. This will require a grant of Rs 25 crore,” Siddaramaiah said.

“As announced in the previous Budget, the State Education Policy Commission has been formed to prepare a draft Karnataka State Education Policy which truly reflects the culture and identity of the State. The Commission is expected to submit its report soon. The State Education Policy will be implemented based on the report of the Commission,” Siddaramaiah added.

This year, 30 government women first grade colleges and government women polytechnics will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 30 crore, he said.

In 2024-25, Rs 250 crore will be provided for upgradation of first grade degree colleges and Rs 120 crore for the upgradation of government polytechnics and engineering colleges. The vacant posts of teachers will be filled up as per necessity and action will be taken to recruit physical education teachers, the chief minister announced.

University of Visvesvaraya College of Engineering will be upgraded on the lines of IITs at a cost of Rs 500 crore, he said. For this, a grant of Rs 100 crore will be provided by the government. Besides, resources for development of the university will be mobilised through CSR funds and contributions from alumni, he added.

“With the purpose of encouraging research and innovation among students and teachers, a corpus fund of Rs 10 crore will be set up. This fund will be used to provide technical and financial assistance to students and teachers interested in filing for patents,” Siddaramaiah said.

A mentorship programme by subject experts, civil servants and entrepreneurs for students of government polytechnics and government engineering colleges called ‘Prerana’ will be started.

Mysuru Maharani Women’s Science College will be constructed at the cost of Rs 54 crore and the Maharani Arts and Commerce College hostel will be built at a cost of Rs 116 crore, the chief minister added.

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