Karnataka has 46,000 public primary schools and 64,000 public pre-primary schools which educate over 8 million children. Out of them, 98% attend a primary school and 85% attend a preschool. But the learning results of the children are below average which has become a matter of concern.
In an effort to tackle hidden hunger or micronutrient malnutrition, it has been decided that fortified rice will be a part of the Midday Meal Scheme in government schools in Bengaluru Urban, Dharwad and Ballari districts.
Under the provision, rice, fortified with micronutrients and vitamins, will be cooked along with normal rice a proportion of 1:99. Fortified rice has been tested to enhance learning skills in Mathematics for students of classes 4 and 5.
Primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait on Thursday signed pacts with Akshaya Patra Foundation and Akshara Foundation, putting forward steps in improving the midday meal quality and introducing math learning programs in government schools.
Karnataka government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the non-profit organization to start the scheme from October 24 onwards in 2,600 government schools to meet the needs of more than 4.5 lakh students.
In the three-year agreement with Akshara Patra Foundation, the government will start Math Learning Programme for school children.The students will be provided with a mathematics kit in this program by the foundation. The second round will begin from Bengaluru Rural, Chikkaballapura, Chamarajanagar, Chitradurga, Gadag and Dharwad which would cover 1.29 lakh students from 4,149 schools.
Tanveer Sait said that from the 34 educational districts in Karnataka the team is trying to start from the districts with the lowest educational standard to the highest ones. Six districts have already been covered and the team has moved on to the next six.
Akshaya Patra Foundation will be providing training to teachers on the use of the Mathematics kit so that they can make the students work with them efficiently.