Will discuss with CM on restarting free bicycle distribution programme for students: Minister
Karnataka Minister for School Education and Literacy Madhu Bangarappa on Thursday told the Assembly that he will discuss with the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on restarting the free bicycle distribution programme for government school students, aimed at arresting the dropout rate.
He said there is demand from students and parents for bicycles from various places across the state.
The Minister was responding to a question raised by Chikkaballapura MLA Pradeep Eshwar during Question Hour, highlighting the problems faced by students, especially in rural areas, to reach schools in time and to control the dropout rate.
''Earlier, in the state, free bicycles were distributed in the year 2019-20. At present, bicycles are not distributed to students of government schools. However, free bus passes are being distributed to the students of rural areas to travel in government buses to facilitate regular school attendance,'' Bangarappa said.
He said that under the centrally-sponsored Comprehensive Education Karnataka Scheme, the students of government schools are being given a transport allowance of Rs 600 per student for six months to travel to schools ''beyond their reach''.
''I too agree -- regarding providing cycles for students of class 8 -- we will decide in the next budget, as this government came to power mid-season. There is demand from students and parents wherever I go. As the Finance Department comes under the Chief Minister, I will discuss with him and make a good decision, that is necessary,'' he added.
With the Leader of Opposition R Ashoka too demanding the restarting of bicycle distribution programme, by highlighting the suffering of rural students and stating that it was launched by the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government to increase the enrolment of students to schools, Bangarappa noted that the programme was also stopped by BJP government, it should not have happened.
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