Deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar on Friday said the Karnataka government has drawn up plans to start 2,000 such schools at the ‘hobli’ level (a cluster of villages), in collaboration with acclaimed private schools such as National Public School and Delhi Public School, among others, with funding coming from private entities as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) outreach.
According to this plan, the government will provide land for construction of these schools, while private entities, using their CSR corpus, will build infrastructure. Private schools, affiliated to any board, will be able to collaborate to run these institutions. Recruitment of teachers at these schools and salary payment to the faculty will be done by the private schools.
While the plan has its obvious sociological aspect that deserves accolades, the path to its successful implementation is also fraught with challenges as some academics pointed out. “Quality education is what every parent aspires for his or her children. We want to provide it in the rural areas too. If we do not stop the migration of people from rural to urban areas, our cities will not be able to sustain the growing population,” said the deputy chief minister at the ‘CSR Conclave – Education Make a Social Impact’, organised by the state government here.
There are around 6,600 gram panchayats. We will target one school for every one or two of them collectively and provide land,” DK Shivakumar said. “We have already spoken to prominent schools such as NPS and DPS. We plan to roll out 2,000 such schools in the next three years,” he said. “It will be a public-private partnership. Children will have to pay a nominal fee. It is up to the private schools to recruit the teachers and pay them,” he explained on the sidelines of the event. “Our children should be able to compete at the global level,” he said. Mansoor Ali Khan, member, board of management, DPS, told TOI: “We are interested in this proposal. We are working out the modalities. We would consider this as a CSR activity. The government can make use of the expertise of successful schools.”
Gopalkrishna K, chairman, NPS, said: “There are many challenges. We need teachers who are qualified and trained and they also need to be paid well. Now, since we won’t be charging the students, how will we pay the teachers.”