Experts: Allocate funds for teacher training, research infrastructure in Karnataka

There are no principals and heads of institutions. Basic facilities and minimum infrastructure are not met,” said KE Radhakrishna, an educationist.
The sector is also looking forward to the State Education Policy (SEP) with bated breath after the newly elected government scrapped NEP 2020.
The sector is also looking forward to the State Education Policy (SEP) with bated breath after the newly elected government scrapped NEP 2020.(Express illustration)

BENGALURU: With the state budget just a few days away, the education sector has pinned its hopes on positive developments for the departments and has expectations of an increase in its financial allocation. Experts in the field and educationists have recommended that digital infrastructure and teacher training be the priorities for both primary and secondary education for the next couple of years. The sector is also looking forward to the State Education Policy (SEP) with bated breath after the newly elected government scrapped NEP 2020. The report will be submitted by the select expert committee by the end of February.

“The education sector should not be considered as a service or beneficiary sector but rather as a development sector. So far, we have considered it as a service but we need more investments. Two-thirds of teachers teaching in schools and Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) in sanctioned posts were decided 10 years ago. However, there has been an exponential growth in the number of enrollments. We are still recruiting guest lecturers. There are no principals and heads of institutions. Basic facilities and minimum infrastructure are not met,” said KE Radhakrishna, an educationist.

He added that there needs to be a paradigm shift in thinking. It is not just about allocation. The sector needs concerned experts and should not be bureaucratised or departmentalized, he said, adding that training and accreditation of teachers also need serious consideration.

Addressing the gaps in Karnataka’s digital revolution, Venugopal KR, former vice-chancellor, the University of Visvesvarya College of Engineering (UVCE) said the departments need to invest heavily in hardware, software, and digital literacy. “Adopting new technologies and training teachers in it can positively impact the sector. There is also a need to look at digital assessment,” he said.

He highlighted the current problems in primary education and stated that there is enrollment at the primary level, however, the teaching-learning methodology is poor. “For HEIs, there is a very menial investment and the scope of research is negligent,” Venugopal said.

He also proposed setting up skill centres in government schools for children so that they are exposed to newer skills and subjects. He added that schools can be clustered and include skill-based education in their curriculum.

Radhakrishna raised two critical issues— the politicisation of hiring of principals and VCs that is prevalent in the state and the hypocritical and dual policy of language that needs to go. “We neither teach Kannada nor English properly. Strengthening the mother tongue with English is a necessity. So, what we specifically need is language teachers who are specially trained, strengthening basics,” he said.

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