More than 100 schools in the district will get compound walls with funds being sanctioned for the work, said K.N. Vijay Prakash, Chief Executive Officer of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat.
He told presspersons in Mangalore on Tuesday that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) had planned to build compound walls for 500 schools. With the released amount, 113 schools could get compound walls.
“We had sought Rs. 830 lakh from the Government, but got Rs. 581 lakh,” he said.
The work would be executed in a phased manner. Once the compound walls were built, the schools could start with the “shaale-vana” and “shaale-thota” programmes (in which schoolchildren grow gardens and small forests within the school grounds), said Mr. Prakash. “For another 100 schools, we can build compound walls with funds generated from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGA),” he said.
At present, 525 out of 932 schools have compound walls, according to a press release.
The amount sanctioned for the SSA in the district this year is double than that of last year. “About Rs. 51 crore from the State government is a quantum jump. It is almost double that of last year. Last year, it was Rs. 31 crore,” he said.
A sum of Rs. 25 lakh sanctioned for the naxal-hit areas would be spent on creating infrastructure, including giving bags, footwear, umbrellas, geometry boxes, textbooks and a basic English dictionary to 2,496 children from 24 schools in nine gram panchayats and 12 villages in remote areas of Belthangady. In the same taluk, 100 children had joined a residential school, which started this year at a cost of Rs.33 lakh.
Mr. Shivaprakash said five government schools and 22 unaided schools had closed down in Dakshina Kannada district in the past five years for want of children.
He said that 35 schools had introduced English as medium of instruction from Class 6 onwards. The number could increase next year depending on the feedback from School Development Monitoring Committees (SDMCs), he said.
Providing an update on educational indicators as defined by the SSA in the district, he said that while the required teacher-pupil ratio according to the Right to Education (RTE) is 1:45, in Dakshina Kannada, it was 21:1. The literacy rate in 2001 in Karnataka was 66.64 and 83.47 in Dakshina Kannada, it was 75.6 in Karnataka and 88.61 in the district today.
Enrolment of children in government schools in the district in 2001-02 was 3,14,220 and in 2011-12, it was 2,73,555. The number of children out of school in the district was 7,864 in 2001-02 and is 137 in 2012-13.
In 2001-02, 97.35 per cent of children had access to a lower primary school (LPS) within 1 km and 98.47 per cent of children had access to higher primary school (HPS) within 3 km. Today, all children have access to LPS and HPS within the defined distance.
A total of 932 schools have been provided with drinking water and toilet facilities, he said.