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Karnataka elections: Here’s what party manifestos hold for the education sector

May 4, 2023

Reshma Ravishanker

As four key parties have locked horns for the upcoming assembly elections in Karnataka, promises made in the field of education range from betterment of government schools’ infrastructure, teacher recruitment and establishment of new varsities. Controversy, however, continues to spiral around the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.  

Parties are contesting to win 224 assembly seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)-ruled south Indian state of Karnataka is headed for polls on May 10, less than a week now. Key political players – the BJP, Indian National Congress(INC), Janatha Dal Secular(JDS) and Aam Admi Party(AAP) released their manifestos over the last two weeks, a vision of what they would focus on if they were elected to power.

While the BJP and JDS have, in their manifestos made announcements that align with the vision of the National Education Policy 2020, the INC promises to roll back NEP implementation and have a state’s own education policy.

Here are the key highlights of the four major parties’ manifestos on education.

  • Fill up teacher vacancies in Government Schools/Colleges in a year
  • Regulate school fees and reduce fees for BPL Students.
  • To reject the NEP and form a State Education Policy
  • Rerevise textbooks to include true values of Bharat and promote scientific temper among students
  • Grant-in-aid for SC/ST run schools and colleges upto PU (estd. before 2012)
  • Make Mid-Day Meal nutritious
  • Renovate old Government School/College buildings
  • Appoint Kannada teachers in all schools including unaided Arabic, Urdu, Tamil and other linguistic schools.
  • Increase the income limit from Rs.3.5 lakhs to Rs.5 Lakhs under RTE Act
  • Better transport and last mile connectivity to schools
  • Upgrade 2,500 Government Schools as smart schools in the state.
  • Bilingual textbooks in all government schools upto grade 12
  • Bear 10 % college fee of merit government school students (6-12) & secure an MBBS/IIT/IIM/Engineering seat on passing competitive examinations in any college countrywide
  • 10 special education schools to help the mentally and physically disabled students and to appoint permanent special education teachers

  • Triple the budget allocation for education to 6% of GSDP to ensure quality education as per NEP
  • Launch ‘PRE-KSHANA Mission’ (Pre-primary Shikshana) for pre-primary and primary school children to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy by 2025.
  • Upgrade all 65,911 existing Anganwadis to be new-generation ‘Saksham Anganwadis’
  • Upskill all qualified Anganwadi workers to become Academic Resource Persons (ARPS) that would enable them to teach preschool students.
  • Establish one Karnataka Institute of Technology (KIT) in each district on the lines of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)
  • Introduce ‘Visvesvaraya Vidya Yojane’ where State will partner with eminent individuals and institutions for holistic upgradation of government schools  
  • Career support by providing financial incentives for civil services aspirants
  • 24,000 new classrooms in government schools in 3 years

  • 6.8 lakh bicycles and 60,000 EV mopeds for girl students
  • Concrete bridges over the rivers in 1,314 places in western ghats
  • Regularization of the Ed-Tech platform and streamlining of jobs for better hybrid education as envisioned in NEP 2020
  • Declare International Sign Language as a recognized language
  • Financial support for children with disabilities
  • Upgradation of labs in government schools, shift towards digital classrooms
  • Fee reduction or cancellation for economically backward students

  • Regulation of school fees across schools
  • Permanent jobs for contractual teachers
  • Government guarantees to banks for higher education loans
  • 20,000 jobs per year to be created for youth
  • Six months of employability training for youth
  • Free transport for students
  • Voting age to be reduced to 16 as against the current 18
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