Government schools in Kushtagi struggles with poor facilities, unskilled teachers and high dropout rates
Despite immense shortage of infrastructure and staffs/teachers, the people in Kushtagi Taluk of Koppal district continue to send their children to government schools. This is the state of a poorly constructed education system in Kushtagi.
Pawan K is a twelve year old boy studying in class six in Government Lower Primary School (GLPS) Kandnoor Raste, Kushtagi. He complains that, “There are only three classrooms in my school. Geeta madam teaches from class one to five. Our Science, English and subject periods are free.” He added that there are no drinking water facilities, washrooms and desks.
Twenty seven thousand schools out of nearly 75,489 schools in Karnataka have only two to three classrooms. The survey was done by District Information System for Education (DISE) The survey mentioned the reasons that the government policy in determining the number of classrooms was through the numbers of teachers in those schools.
Jayadevi Upin who is a principal at (GLPS) school said, “The student-teacher ratio is not appropriate. One teacher is teaching in five classes. There are no labs and libraries. Nearly half of the desks aren’t provided by the government. No electricity and quality of education is pretty visible as some reading materials like enough textbooks are also not provided.”
People have this preconceived notion that private schools do better than government. However, private schools in Kuhstagi are doing no better. This is resulting in a very low number of students clearing secondary schools and high number of drop-out rates at the secondary schools in villages which is close to 5 per cent says the government of Karnataka.
Annual Status Education Report (ASER) 2018 report showed that only 47 per cent of std V children studying in government schools can read std II level textbooks. The number has been stagnant from past 10 years. While the same set of students, only 19.6 per cent can do division. About 15 per cent children in std III are those who cannot even read a letter. These are problems with learning outcomes. The emphasis on learning of basic reading and arithmetic skills was not clear for about two to four years. Even after maintaining that, learning levels have gone down. The learning levels of these children are indicators of effectiveness or productivity of the education. The rise for the same is restricted since in 2016.
The report unraveled that, poor performance in school-based reading and math tests also signals future problems in adulthood, as the lack of foundational skills impedes children’s ability to carry out basic life tasks. All of this affects Kushtagi as a taluk. As these students will have problems in employment later on with their poor education quality. Anganwaadi’s are also vulnerable in Kustagi. With small space crowding 60 children with no teacher is also a sign of poorly constructed education system. Some anganwadi’s in kushtagi have no teachers, no electricity and water facilities for the children.
Ashok Kamath, Chairperson at Akshara Foundation gave us a solution, “Environment, learning ability, skills, availability of infrastructure and access to different facilities must be considered while making the curricula.” He emphasised that encouragement in genuine rural students should be inculcated. With that evaluation of success of these schools and students at each level must be mandatory. He concluded by saying that, “Timely assessment will throw light on present problems and achievements.