Govt primary schools lose out to private ones in Holalkere

By Shubhankar Chakravorty

HOLALKERE, Karnataka (March 6)—Government primary schools in the Holalkere taluk of Chitradurga district, Karnataka, are running short of students as parents opt to send their children to private ones, which have rapidly increased over the last five or so years.

The possible conclusions one can draw from this are:

People still trust a government education over a private one when it comes to higher education, unlike at the primary level.

People are choosing to invest Rs. 12,000-15,000 per annum in private education at primary level, against the free government education.

“If the private schools don’t have enough seats, the extra students come to the government schools,” said Netra, English teacher at the Government Modern Higher Primary School. And that, according to her, is the only reason for students coming to government schools.

Presently, the count of Holalkere town’s educational institutions is:

Holalkere
Government
Private
Primary schools
7
25
High schools
16
5

English teacher Padmavati at Holalkere’s M.M. High, a government-run school, said that majority of the students they admit in eighth standard are from private primary schools. And a good percentage of those from Kannada and Urdu medium primary schools often end up dropping out, not being able to cope with the education standard and medium.

Trend shifts at high school level

“People are attracted by good uniforms and colorful schools buildings,” said Manjunath S.R., block education officer for Holalkere. “When it comes to higher education, at board level, government schools are more trustworthy,” said Vinoth, a student of Holalkere’s M.M. High School.But the opposite happens in the formative years of school education, when parents want their children to be exposed to English and computer education, which they get in private schools and not in government ones.Reasons for the shift from government schools at primary level include:

  • Kannada-medium education.
  • Lack of computer education.
  • Limitations of academic syllabus.
  • Lack of co-curricular activities.
  • Poor infrastructure in terms of school buildings, furniture, power and sanitation.

Those are some reasons keeping students out of government primary schools. But the fact remains that government schools do provide for:

  • Free education.
  • Free stationery, including books.
  • Free school uniforms.
  • Midday meal.

The above factors, which otherwise must motivate students to join government schools, are not enough for a taluk like Holalkere, where there is high educational awareness.“Bangalore being not very far, its IT industries and MNCs are a huge source of inspiration for parents to build up their children for them,” said Bharat Mehta, a businessman in the town of Chikjajur.

Jagdish Nayek, a B.Com student at Holalkere Government College said he is weak in English, having studied in a government school, and faces difficulties in college. He needs to take extra classes to improve his English. His friend Sunil Kumar from the same Lambani village, who studied in a private primary school in Holalkere town is in the same college, doing his B.Com undergraduate studies in English.

(Published in The SoftCopy)

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