261 schools, mostly private, Karnataka shut down in first year of pandemic | Mysuru News – Times of India

MYSURU: As many as 261 schools downed the shutters and nearly 50% of the eligible children did not seek admission for pre-primary classes for 2020-21, the first academic year badly affected by stringent Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to an analysis of a report prepared by the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (Udise+).
Most of the schools which closed in the first year of the pandemic were from the private sector and they were conducting Classes 1 to 12 across the state. Interestingly, though the number of schools came down, the number of teachers increased from 4,50,592 (during 2019-20) to 4,54,323 during 2020-21.
Karnataka education minister BC Nagesh said the state has “enough schools in the government sector” and they can absorb students affected by the untimely and sudden closure of private schools.
According to Udise+ data, 77,166 schools were functioning during 2019-20. This came down to 76,905 in 2020-21. The number of schools in the government sector decreased from 49,834 to 49,791.
School association: Govt didn’t offer Covid relaxation
The number of government-aided schools came down from 7,244 to 7,182. The biggest losers were unaided private schools with their number falling from 20,069 to 19,915 with the closure of 154 schools. Two schools listed as ‘others’ also shut down in 2020-21.
Along with this, admission to pre-primary schools came down by nearly half in 2020-21, compared to the previous year. In 2020-21, at least 2,78,311 children were admitted for pre-primary classes. It was 5,94,220 in the previous year (2019-20).
D Shashikumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools, said parents didn’t show any interest to pay even the minimum fee during 2020-21 even though they picked schools based on quality education they provided.
‘A few were left with no choice’
“Besides, the Karnataka government didn’t extend any benefits or offer Covid-19 relaxations. The education department continued to impose strict guidelines to renew permission. As a result, a few schools were left with no option but to close down,” he added.

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