The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) will witness changes in strategy this year.
The scheme was formulated to set up residential schools for girls from minority communities. Owing to the fall in enrolment of girls in the KGBVs, the SSA will now set up KGBVs nearer habitations so that girls find it easier to join. Currently, all 64 KGBVs in the state are located near respective taluk headquarters.
Speaking to Express, State Project Director of SSA Tushar Girinath said that bringing the girls into the mainstream was a concern. “Earlier, all the KGBVs were set up near taluk headquarters. This made it difficult for girls to travel to far off places. Also, the skepticism of parents about the system does not help. We have decided to locate these centres near hobli headquarters and habitations,” he said.
He said that with National Programme for Education of Girls for Elementary Level (NPEGEL) and KGBV, efforts are undertaken in this regard. “In fact, Karnataka is the only state to adopt the KGBV model on a large scale,” he said.
Girinath added that as a part of SSA’s Inclusive Education Programme (IEP), the officials will try to involve the community to understand the problems faced by girls and the reason behind their staying away from schools. “We will talk to the community to find out if the girls are facing differential treatment and find out what can be done to tackle such impediments,” said Tushar.
According to SSA statistics, the state has 64 operational KGBVs with a total enrolment of 5,629 girls out of a target enrolment of 6,400 girls. This comprises 38 per cent of SC girls, 14 per cent of ST girls, 24 per cent of OBC girls, seven per cent of Muslim girls and 16 per cent of below-poverty-line (BPL) girls. In terms of enrolment of girls in government schools, DISE statistics reveal that a total of 24,12,828 girls were enrolled in classes one to eight in 2010, while 23,33,161 were enrolled in 2011.