Published: 07th September 2022
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had introduced the scheme to distribute shoes and socks, argued that when children of private schools can go to school wearing socks and shoes
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Over 47.13 lakh students of over 48,000 government schools across Karnataka will finally get their shoes and socks by October, after Dasara, stated a report by The New Indian Express.
Commissioner of the Department of Public Instructions Vishal R told TNIE that the state government has approved Rs 132 crore for shoes and socks, and released the funds too. The money has been released to all districts through the respective Deputy Commissioners (DCs).
The DCs, in turn, will release the money to Block Education Officers (BEOs) who are mapping School Development Management Committees (SDMC) of schools, and release funds to SDMCs by the month-end. Once they receive the funds, SDMCs will procure shoes and socks and distribute them to students in October, he said.
Shoes, socks and bicycles were not approved in the budget for the third consecutive year, and Education and Literacy Minister BC Nagesh defended dropping of the two programmes, stating that the priority was to give quality education.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who had introduced the scheme to distribute shoes and socks, argued that when children of private schools can go to school wearing socks and shoes, why should government school children go to school barefoot? Reconsidering the decision, CM Basavaraj Bommai announced that shoes and socks would be provided for government schoolchildren.
However, the government did not revoke the decision on giving bicycles to high school students. While it has come up with a plan to buy buses for government schools under the MLA LADS (Local Area Development Scheme), out of 224 MLAs, at least three MLAs have already taken the lead and given funds to buy buses for some government schools, said Vishal. The department is following up with other MLAs, he said.
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