BENGALURU: Nine years after their inception, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) hostels meant for girl students belonging to economically backward sections in rural Karnataka are yet to become popular among teenage girls. These hostels, known as Type 4, that cater to students from Class 9 to 12, are far less popular than Type 1, which cater to Classes 6 to 8.
In 2018-19, KGBV Type 1 hostels (established in 2005-06) showed an admission rate of 97.71 per cent, with 8,110 students out of the targeted 8,300 seats. Whereas KGBV type-four for the older girls had a 63.67 per cent admission rate.
As many as 71 KGBV are functional in the state, of which 39 hostels are managed by Samagra Shikshana Abhiyan Society under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and 32 are managed by Mahila Samakhya Karnataka, Government of Karnataka. Yet these government facilities which provide boarding, lodging, well-furnished and equipped hostels, with basic necessities, is yet to retain teenage girls. The enrolments seem to decrease as the student grows older.
While 4,457 girls were enrolled in the hostels having 7,000 seats for Classes 9 to 12, 1.27 per cent of them, which translates to 57 students, were from Class 12, making for an age category with the lowest admission.
This was followed by Class 11 students who were just 3.25 per cent of the inmates, translating to 145 students. As many as 2,372 students (53.24 per cent) were from Class nine, and 1,882 (42.22 per cent) were from Class 10.
“The gap has been noticed over the years. The numerous state government-run hostels for the age category is the reason for the dip in KGBV admission for Class 9 to 12. Also, while Type 1 hostels are boarding-cum-schooling, type-four are just accommodation and students have to be enrolled in a school nearby,” said officials from the department.
Social Anthropologist A R Vasavi, who had done a study on the state of tribal children education all over India, pointed out to the dismal state of hostels across Karnataka, including those operated by the Karnataka Social Welfare Department.
“Once these girls hit puberty parents fear for the safety of their girl child as these hostels do not guarantee security, and have had instances of them bearing children. There is also an opportunity cost that the family has to bear when the girl is away, and general withdrawal rates from schools, especially among tribal students goes up when age goes up,” she added.