Uniform woes continue for schoolchildren - The New Indian Express

Uniform woes continue for schoolchildren

Published: 31st August 2013 08:28 AM

Last Updated: 31st August 2013 08:28 AM

With thousands of children of government schools in Belgaum and Chikkodi educational districts yet to get the first set of free uniforms, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has taken to task the Karnataka State Textile Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSTIDC) for the delay.

A strongly worded show-cause notice was issued to the corporation, asking why the department should not take action against it for the inordinate delay in supply of one set of uniforms for 3.08 lakh children of government schools (Classes 1-10) in six taluks in Belgaum and two in Chikkodi educational districts.

‘’We have realised that you do not have the potential to supply uniforms in time,’’ the notice states. The corporation, in its reply, has assured the department that it would supply the remaining uniforms before September 5. ‘’Only the Belgaum division, which includes Chikkodi, has this problem as the corporation is responsible for supply of uniforms here,’’ said A Devaprakash, Director, Primary Education.

For the next academic year (2014-15), the DPI has recommended to the state government not to consider KSTIDC for supply of uniforms in the Belgaum division. “We have suggested Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC) or Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills (RSWM) for supply of uniforms in Belgaum. The KSTIDC has too many internal issues and has paid `2.48 crore penalty to the government in the last two years,” an official said.

Uniforms for schoolchildren in Mysore division are supplied by the RSWM at base price of `44 per shirt (boys and girls), Rs 93.55 per short or pant and Rs 48.06 per skirt. The KHDC supplies uniforms in Bangalore and Gulbarga divisions at Rs 54 per shirt, Rs 112 per pant and Rs 57 per skirt. The KSTIDC is paid Rs 49 per shirt, Rs 102 per pant and Rs 51.83 per skirt.

The supply of second set of uniforms for schoolchildren in Classes 1-8 has run into trouble in many parts of Bangalore. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which sponsors the second set, has allocated `200 for each student’s uniform. The school development and monitoring committees (SDMC), responsible for purchase and stitching of uniforms, say this is not enough.

‘’The minimum cost for stitching a pant and shirt is about Rs 500. With just Rs 200, we are expected to purchase polyester viscose cloth and even stitch them. We are expected to pitch in with the extra money. The female SDMC members are under pressure to leave, if they have to pay from their pockets,” said G Narasimha Prasad, a SDMC member in a government high school in a village in Bangalore south.

Another SDMC member pointed out that boys belonging to other categories (non SC/ST/BPL) are yet to get the second set of uniforms. There are 8.54 lakh “other boys” according to SSA figures.  An official from SSA said `200 was all they could give as it is prescribed by the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

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