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Karnataka: Non-allocation for bicycle scheme may affect student attendance, say experts


An formidable scheme of the Karnataka authorities to offer bicycles to 5 lakh highschool college students is unlikely to be carried out for the second consecutive yr – at the same time as authorities colleges are set to re-open within the state on May 16.

The scheme, which was first launched by the BJP authorities headed by BS Yediyurappa in 2008 and was continued by subsequent governments, has not acquired a funds allocation for 2022-23. Education division officers are actually involved over an increase in the price of the bicycle scheme from Rs 170 crore to Rs 220 crore owing to inflation. This comes shut on the heels of the Covid-19-linked disruption in 2021-22.

“We haven’t got any funds or allotments from the government this year to implement the bicycle scheme. We have requested the government to allocate funds but they are yet to be approved. This time around, we require at least Rs 220 crore for the bicycle scheme owing to the inflation in comparison to the previous allotment of Rs 170-180 crore. The government is actually contemplating whether to spend so much on the scheme considering other expenditures,” a senior official within the training division stated on the situation of anonymity.

Notably, the bicycle scheme was not talked about within the 2022-23 funds offered by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in March and the 2021-22 funds of Yediyurappa. It was, nonetheless, anticipated to be continued because the 2020-21 funds offered by Yediyurappa acknowledged that the “bicycle scheme introduced for school students and others will be continued.”

The fashionable scheme supposed to encourage extra youngsters to attend authorities colleges – particularly in rural areas – is way in demand with the brand new faculty season set to start after the Covid-19 disruption in 2020 and 2021.

A senior instructor from a authorities highschool in Devanahalli taluk – on the outskirts of Bengaluru – stated they’ve acquired requests from dad and mom to offer bicycles to their wards.

“Without the bicycle scheme for the last two years, students are facing difficulty in commuting to schools. Most of our students walk four km and they leave their homes at 8:30 am to attend their 10 am class. At least 12 students have bought their own bicycles to commute to school. Moreover, girls are finding it difficult to walk long distances and they are now coming in groups, fearing for their safety,” the instructor stated.

While some college students have chosen to purchase their very own bicycles, some youngsters are observing the opportunity of dropping out of college, officers stated.

Munegowda, the vp of the Student Development and Monitoring Committee for the Devanahalli taluk in rural Bengaluru, stated: “In the last academic year, at least five to six students dropped out. We are worried about the same trend continuing this year because a lot of students travel six to seven km every day to reach school.”

“We need at least 200 bicycles this year. We are writing to the higher authorities to resume the bicycle scheme soon,” he stated.

While faculty dropouts are a priority, there are additionally issues over low attendance in colleges. A instructor from a authorities highschool in Yadgir stated, “There has been at least a 10 per cent reduction in attendance last year owing to the cancellation of the bicycle scheme. This year, too, we can expect some low attendance rates. Many students travel between five to 10 km and bicycles were their only hope.”

While the bicycle scheme for highschool college students has been fashionable since its introduction in 2008, there was some controversy previously with allegations of kickbacks in bicycle procurements being levelled in opposition to the federal government within the early years of the scheme.





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