Please tell our teachers not to use their mobile phones during class, children from the state told Tanveer Sait, minister for primary and secondary education, at an interaction on Friday.
The request was read from a postcard addressed to the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) which organised the event along with Unicef.
Student representatives from 34 education districts questioned the education minister about teacher shortages, lack of infrastructure, and gave their suggestions on improving government schools.
A student from a government PU college in Hoskote requested Sait, “Many in our college do not get proper meals because of their circumstances. Could you please introduce subsidised canteens like Indira canteens in colleges, too?.” Sait promised her that he would consider introducing such canteens in PU colleges where student strength is more than 500.
“The learning assessment test which you have introduced for Class 4 to 9 will have only multiple-choice questions. We need to practice writing so please change the format,” a class 9 student from Pottery Town, Bengaluru, said. The minister explained that MCQs would be easier for analysing learning levels. “But I will talk to my officials and we will think about your suggestion,” he said.
Sait was forced to take back his words when Surabhi, a student from Yadgir, responded to a comment he made. “Sir, you said in your reply to another student that those who study in private schools do not care about social service. I disagree with you. I study in a private school and everything I do will be for the betterment of society,” she said. Sait appreciated her boldness and apologised.
Many children from residential schools run by the Social Welfare Department had come prepared with questions for department minister H Anjaneya but were disappointed by his absence.
A student from a Morarji Desai residential school said, “Half the academic year is over but we have not received uniforms and even mattresses so far.” A student from Kittur Rani Chennamma school also aired her concerns. “We got our textbooks only recently. Our school is in a hilly area and mosquitoes, snakes, insects, enter our hostels. A leopard also entered once. So when the power goes off, we are scared for our life,” she said. Sait told the children that he would discuss these issues with the department’s minister.