State schools

Dept asks public schools to raise money to copy spreadsheets, backs down | Bangalore News

BENGALURU: Acknowledging the shortage of learning resources in its schools, Samagra Shikshana Karnataka issued a circular last week asking schools to use donor funds or CSR initiatives to obtain worksheets for the bridging program photocopied to distribute to the children.
Drawing criticism of the circular, the department has now sent a message to schools saying it has since been withdrawn. Kalika Chetarike – Karnataka’s special program to address Covid-induced learning gaps – was inaugurated a month and a half ago by the CM. The concept has been well received by educators and teachers.
After investigating the learning gaps, the department decided to teach the children basic skills before starting classes this school year.
Schools: Receive grants sporadically
The department developed the content and had to give students worksheets to work on.
However, worksheets have yet to reach most schools. The electronic copy is available on the ministry’s website. Schools asked children to write questions in their notebooks after viewing the electronic copy.
According to ministry officials, a few worksheets have reached the printing press and they will arrive in schools in the coming days.
Meanwhile, a June 27 circular asked schools to verify donors or corporate social responsibility funds to have worksheets photocopied and distributed to students. Alternatively, schools were encouraged to use SDMC (School Development Monitoring Committee) grants or funds, if available, and obtain a photocopy of the worksheet by subject and grade. Schools were asked to ask students to copy the same into their notebooks later.
“We asked schools on Saturday not to follow the circular because it sent the wrong message. A formal order to withdraw it will also be given,” an official said. “We have made maintenance grants available so that schools can use it to make photocopies,” the official said.
The schools said they only received the grants on Monday afternoon. “Grants have been coming sporadically over the past three years. We need grants to buy stationery like chalk and paper. We explain our problems to NGOs and SDMC and they help us. schools without any support as they struggle to pay even the electricity bills,” said the headmistress of a school in east Bangalore.
“Education is a basic right and a right of a child. The government has not even provided the basic necessities (like worksheets) to educate a child,” criticized VP Niranjanaradhya, educator.
“It’s sad that a well-designed curriculum could have been a salvation for schoolchildren. As expected, the department should have focused on worksheets now and textbooks later,” said a center official block resources.
“The lack of worksheets has become a burden on teachers. They have to manually write worksheet content and read passages. Some teachers have slowly started to switch to textbooks,” said a teacher trainer in English.
However, education department officials said the problem was a passing phenomenon and added that language worksheets will arrive first in schools, followed by math and science. “The printers are distributing them, with some districts receiving worksheets. We might need a few more days (to supply them) as there was a shortage of paper. Some printers were unable to print on Sundays as they ran out of paper. The issue has now been resolved,” an official said.