Literacy rate goes as low as 19 percent in some villages in Karnataka.
The literacy rate in Siruguppa taluk in the district of Bellary is as low as 44.14 percent, according to the census of 2011. While the male literacy rate is 57.58 percent, the female literacy rate stands at 30.83 per cent.
K Devena Gowda, President of the Block Education Office, says that there are 189 Government schools with the student strength of 32,481 from class 1 to class 10. The number of aided and unaided schools goes up to 88 with batch strength of 19,174.
The stark difference in the literacy rate between men and women cannot be justified looking at the gender ratio in schools. The male to female ratio in the Government schools is at 52 and 48 percent respectively.
The gender ratio in Siruguppa, which is at 1,005, is better than the average gender ratio of 948 in the entire state of Karnataka. But the literacy rate and especially the female literacy rate is significantly low compared to the 68.08 per cent female literacy rate of the state.
The overall literacy in the district of Bellary is 67.43 percent. Among all its seven taluks, the lowest rate of literacy is in Siruguppa, for both female and overall. In fact, in a village in Siruguppa called Akkatangerhal, the female literacy rate goes as low as 19 percent.
One of the reasons could be the high number of school dropouts. In all the government schools in the taluk, there are 567 out of school children. Heena Begum, a resident of the village of Raravi, said that her mother took her out of school when she was in the eighth-grade standard.
The Evaluation Report of Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (SSA), a universal elementary education scheme under the government, by Programme Implementation Organisation of the Planning Commission, states that the total money allocated to the scheme in Karnataka in 2006-2007 was Rs. 69,948 lakhs. It claims that the number of Undeserved Habitations in Karnataka decreased to zero in 2007 from 7,221 in 2002.
After the government passed the Right to Education Act in 2010, in 2011-2012 the government allotted Rs. 21,000 crores for SSA implementation. But this did not seem to impact the blatantly low rate of literacy in Siruguppa.