Mass Education Program In India – Rising through Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board
Karnataka, the southern state of India, has a rich educational heritage. The state has been witnessing an increase in the literacy rate year by year. It has increased by 9% and has reached up to 75.60% in the past gone decade. The Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board has been imparting education since 1966 so that the students inculcate good moral values and ethics and become a socially responsible citizen. There are 48,987 Government primary and high schools in the state. The state also offers free and compulsory education for children in the age group 6-14 years.
There are three types of schools in Karnataka,
- Government schools (run by the government)
- Aided schools (Financially helped by the government)
- Un-aided private schools (no financial aid is provided by the government)
Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board offers the supply of text books, school bags, uniforms, mid-day meals, bicycles and various travel allowances to encourage education. Apart from mid-day meals, students are provided with iron, folic and Vitamin A tablets for the purpose of supplementary nutrition. Remedial classes and several bridge courses have also initiated in the state to impart quality education to students. The Board has also proposed to conduct supplementary examinations for failed students to enable them to join higher education and Karnataka Board was the first Board in the country to initiate the same.
All the students from 1st to 10th standard are covered under Suvarna Arogya Chaitanya Program to ensure their physical health. The students are medically checked by doctors of Government Hospitals and if any serious disease or ailment is detected, a free of cost treatment is provided in the major hospitals of the state.
The main objective of the Board is to ensure that all children in the age group 6-14 years receive free education. To improve the education system, every year a fixed amount is allotted by the government to the primary schools for maintenance, purchasing of land for school buildings and construction of playgrounds. The scheme of bicycle distribution was also started in 2006-07 for girl students enrolled up to class 8th and falling below the poverty line so that girl child can be encouraged to get enrolled in a school. However, the same was introduced, after a year, for boys too.
Poverty and economic development are the key factors for non-participation of students in schools. Thus, government provides free school bags and uniforms so that even lower income group families send their children to schools. To unleash the hidden talent of students and to achieve overall personality development, Prathibha Karanji program was started. It provides a platform for students to compete at cluster, district and state levels. Successful students are awarded prizes and certificates and are selected for higher competition levels.
The Government aided and un-aided high schools from 8th standard to 10th standard come under the category of secondary education. Though, secondary education is free in the state but is not compulsory for children unlike primary education. The demand for secondary education in Karnataka is likely to rise in the coming years. Karnataka Education Act 1983 was passed for the development of these institutes and maintenance/improvement of educational standards.
According to the recent statistics, girls have been outperforming boys as far as secondary education is concerned. But, there is an increase in the ratio of girls drop outs as compared to boys. Facilities for drinking water and separate toilet for girls have also been introduced in these schools.