The Government primary school in Bengaluru’s rural area lack basic infrastructure.
Bengaluru: The Government Primary School in Thagachaguppe does not have minimal infrastructure for the students studying in the school. The students sit on the floor and attend classes.
Anitha,the Head Mistress of the Government Primary School in Thagachaguppe said, “Students from grade four and five sit on the floor to attend classes. We provide benches for grade six and seven.” She further said that they do not have any mats for the students to sit on while studying in these classes.
Prasanna Kumar, Director of Primary Education said, “Unless we receive complaints directly from the schools, we will not know about the condition of that school.” The official said there are 56,000 schools in the state and every school is given a maintenance grant. However, this grant is mostly used by the school for miscellaneous expenses which include chalk pieces, pencils, and textbooks, said the official.
Anitha said, “The funds given by the government will be used for occasions like Independence Day celebrations. We also use the same grant for textbooks and other required material for daily purposes.” The headmistress added, “Buying furniture for the school is expensive as we can not use the whole grant for a single purpose. So, we take donations from people around us and a few Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).”
The Karnataka State Government has announced Rs. 500 crores for the development of infrastructural facilities of the government schools in the state budget 2022-23.
Prasanna Kumar said, “Benches are mandatory in all schools. The government tries to include as many schools as possible according to the money allocated in the state budget. However, it takes time to develop infrastructure in all schools.” The official did not mention any date for providing infrastructure to some government schools.
The school received mats for grade one to grade three students through donations. The school did not receive sufficient mats and exam pads from the government for grades one to grade three, for the Nali Kali, which enables activity-based learning for the students. They have not received or collected any donations from NGOs in recent times.
Rajyasree, a retired Government School principal said, “It is not just the government who should take care of the facilities of the government schools. The school’s principal should also be as responsible as the government. The principal should try to collect donations and manage the funds to maintain the school.” However, the expert also said, “Sometimes the grants provided by the government may not be sufficient to buy furniture for schools.”
The funds sent by the government also depend on the number of students studying in that school. Sometimes the funds may be there but they are not enough because a greater number of students in schools require more infrastructure and facilities, said Rajyasree.