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Bangalore needs more new schools


In the midst of high profile issues and subjects, it seems we as Bangaloreans and Indians in general have neglected the Primary and secondary level education. When I say education, it has to be affordable to 80-90% of the population. Not just 10%-20%.

This is not a point fingering at anybody but to oureslves starting with myself first. In the hustling and bustling of highh growth jargons like IT, BT, KT, METRO, Infrastructure etc., the primary education has got neglected. If we look around us we don't see many schools (ordinary) any more. Given the growth, number of schools should have increased. But looks like we have -ve growth.

From Praja platform I would like to initiate a discussion on augumenting the current state of primary education in Bangalore to start with.

Let the discussion be in terms of population, no of primary schools, no. of High schools, their distribution, availability of space, infrastructure, teachers, staff, management etc. The discussion should lead us to take up the small steps that could mitigate the sitution to certain extent on the ground.




kbsyed61's picture

Statistics on Schools in Bangalore !

Does any body has any information on statisctics on Schools in Bangalore?

Rationalise school building by-laws

One of the reasons why new schools cannot be practically established in Bengaluru is the by-laws of BBMP which stipulate a lot of infrastructure for new schools. Every one knows how costly land in Bengaluru is. 

And then there are restrictions as to how much you can build in a school (FSI / FAR) which affect the overall economics of building a school. Not everyone is into education for charity only. There has got to be some incentive for acting out of enlightened self-interest.

Getting permits of various sorts for establishing a school itself is a achievement. 

tsubba's picture


cadambi, what are the exact limitations in physically realizing a school?
tsubba's picture


my last post on education got hijacked into useless controversy, perhaps my own writing is to blame. but before building new schools it is perhaps wise to ask how to make the existing schools to work for everybody. as fundamental as education is, is it essential that everybody gets the same education and hence an equal shot at opportunity? now anybody who is even remotely connected to education will tell you that different kids have different needs wrt education based on their "aptitude". but, i assume we are talking basic education here. what is the purpose of it? how does, where the kid's father is employed and how much he earns and what his notions of outsourcing his wards education relevant to education and opportunity? is it just enough to intellectualize about egalitarianism in the text books or do we need to do something about it in a more tangible, fundamental sense? isn't quality education and access to it and hence to opportunities, is not the most fundamental essence of an enlightened state? if not, then what is? is it right to have interviews and tests for lkg admissions? if i know all that then what is it that you are going to teach me? if there is more to education than abcd, then why is that not fundamental? is it right that kids getting 35% are allowed to pass? if you only need to know 35% of what is taught to earn a diploma, then why teach 100% of the subject?
City.Zen's picture

Self Help Is The Best Help

When the Central Minister for HRD with crores of money at his disposal is busy tinkering with higher education, we the poor prajas are left with no alternative but to take up the concerns of primary education ourselves.

Bangaloreans can be proud of the fact that their eminent prajas are setting examples here too!  Premji's Foundation, Nilekani's Akshara Foundation are doing some work in this area.

A Bengali (?) Shukla Bose has founded the unique Parikrma Foundation in Bangalore( running 4 schools exclusively for the slum children.  A sentence in their website makes interesting reading, "There are over 800 slums in the city of Bangalore alone with over 2 million people living in those slums. Imagine the potential for the city to engage its poor in the IT industry."

Bangalore has enough number of excellent International Schools, but as Syedbhai rightly says, "it has to be affordable to 80-90% of the population. Not just 10%-20%."

A whacky idea is about persuading the government to lease out their primary schools in Bangalore to Foundations like Parikrma.  But what do we do with the notorious govt. school teachers?  Shunt them out to rural schools?


City Zen
tsubba's picture

robust solution.

need robust solutions. these are fundamental issues cant outsource them and depend on the large heartedness of big givers. what if these donors go belly up tomorrow? what about the kids then? alternately, what about the kids beyond the reach and grasp of these big givers? how about that kid in randompalya? we need to fix this issue more fundamentally. if a modern enlightened city/society cant fix education and equal access to it then what is its purpose? intha city idden upyoga?
City.Zen's picture

The Directorate of Public Instruction

"Does any body has any information on statisctics on Schools in Bangalore?"

 check out

Or meet the directors/commisioner at their Office of the Commissioner of Public Instruction, Nrupathunga Road, Bangalore.



City Zen
navshot's picture


I myself have been thinking about this for some time. The problem is, there are segments and each segment needs to be handled differently. The major chunks are primarily two:

1. children from families bordering lower middle class upto families bordering upper middle class.

2. children from underprivileged to lower middle class.

Please don't mistake me, I'm not trying to create a class-division based on income, but fundamentally, the approaches have to be different, as challenges are different. I think you guys are more talking about first one.

I'm just trying to clear my own mind here....

-- navshot
City.Zen's picture

Tarle, sorry for hijacking your earlier post.

"but before building new schools it is perhaps wise to ask how to make the existing schools to work for everybody."

What are the objectives here?  Every parent/guardian who wants to send the child to a school must be provided with one?  Right, the government has succeeded here.  There are enough govt. schools in all areas.  To ensure attendance, as well as providing good nutrition, the govt. is providing mid-day meals.  To ensure availability of study materials and content, the govt. has its own dept. of text books which works overtime to edit, print and publish text books in time every year.  To ensure imparting of good education, the govt. appoints only qualified teachers who are either diplomaholders or graduates or double graduates in education.  The schools do work for the prescribed number of days in the year.  In spite of the schools and their staff and the dept. of public instruction working so hard, why do we have an impression that these govt. schools do not work for everybody?  Where has the govt., gone wrong?  To ensure their commitment, the govt., pays the teachers good salaries, and ensures the security of pension and other benefits, etc.  What more can one expect from the govt.?  Would it be better if the govt. were to get the hell out of doing everything by itself and leave the field open to private players and foundations, restricting itself to its fundamental role of regulating?  How is the scenario in developed countries?  Can we learn something from them?

City Zen
Bengloorappa's picture

Small steps towards a permanent solution

<Removing this comment as it was not relevant to Bangalore>
- Bengloorappa

Building restrictions leads to less space for schools

If i want to start a school, i should have according to govt policies, a play ground and a large infrastructure. We all know that this is impossible in Bengaluru considering the current land rates.

So if there are practical laws namely such as not needing to have a playground and less height restrictions of the school building and greater FAR/FSI - then it will be very economical to build and hence charge lesser fees to students to recover the investments. 

Vikas Sah's picture

International Schools in Bangalore

http://www.bangaloreschoo... is a portal dedicated to schools in Bangalore. Find user reviews and ratings of schools.

English in Govt Schools

There was a large controversy over English medium private un-aided schools. The Govt made it sure that these schools should switch over to Kannada medium schools for which they were granted permission initially.

Parents had problems with this because lack of English lead to handicaps in the global market place.

However, my take on this is different. Private Schools should be free to decide which syllabus (CBSE, ICSE, SSLC, IB et al) that they wish to cater to. They are within their constitutional rights to do so.

However, since the Government funds government schools out of tax funds, it is liable to instruct only in the language that it recognises - i.e Kannada.

Dr M Vidyasagar, a top official at TCS, who studied in Telugu medium schools and yet achieved stellar academic achievements in the West had a solution to this crisis. When he was studying, science and mathematics used to be taught in English and Telugu for social science and as a language. English used to be taught as a working and third language.

According to him, the current policy of teaching science and mathematics in local languages is rendering thousands of graduates from government schools jobless with private companies.

Teaching Science and Mathematics in English is a solution to the concerns of parents and it will help in aiding local languages by catalysing the flow of knowledge of western science and technology into local languages. 

kbsyed61's picture

Scools closer to homes !


 Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am looking at from 2 apsects.

 One, currently schools are not well distributed. Second, academic standard in nearby schools. These factors are forcing parents to send their children to schools located in far off areas. This contributes to additional vehicular traffic to/from school specially with Autos, Vans and Cars. Believe me or not this is a considerable traffic adding to th eBangalore's choked roads.

 Added to this are not enough schools to cater to the neighborhood population. This is one of teh factor for this Donation menace in private schools.

 There are other issues, below-par performance from govt. schools, Teachers-Unions strong arm tactics and craze for convent schools etc. Also as Mcadambi had mentioned BBMPs strict Building laws are also contributing to less new schools.

 During this coming weekend I shall write more about these issues.


shas3n's picture


I have not been aware of such mixed-language instruction earlier. Tarlesubba was advocating precisely the same idea in his last post




shas3n's picture

Education - my view

I might be a bit off-topic here but please bear with me. I have had a very unique upbringing (the reasons are irrelevant here) and probably a very different schooling experience than most of us here. I studied in Kannada medium, in Goverment Schools along with children from lowest classes of society. My classmates included children who lived in urban slums and children of construction workers etc. Meanwhile, owing to my social class (a middle class family), I also had a lot of interaction with kids who belonged to middle/upper-middle class families with fathers working in banks etc. One thing I would invariably notice was that these high-class kids were not particularly good at learning at school than the low class ones. I don't have statistics but I have ruled out possibility of a conformational bias. But the high class ones had access to resources like books, educated parents, a society that stressed on academic success and lastly, peer pressure. It is this 'social' advantage that puts these high-class kids miles ahead of the others in their suitability for high-salary employment. So, my theory is that the 'learning' that happens within the school in nominal and pretty useless to make someone employable. The real 'leaning' happens outside the walls of the school. It happens when the kids get access to the books that interest them, it happens when children play with ideas, it happens when adults take active interest in their children. I am sorry to tell you this, but all those parents who think sending their children to international school ends their responsibility are seriously wrong. OK, now relating it all to this post, if by education we mean preparing a person for real life, then it is not happening in our schools as well as we wish it did. If we are talking of providing a better 'learning' experience for children of lower class, it demands a fundamental change in the schooling system we have. If we don't address the real issues, no amount of money pumped in would benefit the society. Education would involve making things like good books, computers, accessible to every child. It would involve motivated, smart people interacting with children of low classes. Parents who earn daily bread by sweat do not have the luxury or ability for spending time educating their children. That is why there are so few rags-to-riches stories. My only hope is that the government realises the need for going the extra mile beyond the classroom and the TCH teacher and makes it easy for motivated NGOs and others individuals to complement the current schooling system. -Shastri PS: I also found that (in general) children educated in their mother tongue had a better grasp of fundamental concepts than those who blindly mugged the answers in so called 'convent schools'.


ssheragu's picture


I agree with kbsyed61

we praja members should concentrtae on education up to +2.

as he has rightly said we should concentrate in the rural areas. each of the IT giants should be driven to adopt one district with at least 10 schools in each district provding  QUALITY EDUCATION & FOOD TO THE UNDERPRIEVLIEGED FREE OF COST.

Regarding the language policy we can strive to implement three language formula (KANNADA, HINDI & ENGLISH)

Srinath Heragu

Naveen's picture

Schools Moving Out to City Outskirts ?


A few city schools are either building or planning to build larger campuses & moving out of the city. The advantages may be that they make a huge amount when they dispose their land assets within the city & the cost of land is cheaper outside. Thus, they are able to provide far better school facilities outside.

On a drive past Malleswaram & on Tumkur road, I noticed BP Indian High School had a huge facility past Nelamangala on the Hassan road.

On the Kannur road, past HRBR, I noticed Concorde school having a larger piece of land there, too in addition to their already running school at HRBR layout.


Profile of Dr Vidyasagar


Dr Vidyasagar too studied in a Telugu medium school. More about him and his articles here: 

tsubba's picture


ayyo!! why bengaloorappa? if you have copy somewhere, please post back. as long as no ad hominems and not abusive of any individual ok.
Bengloorappa's picture

Small Steps towards a permanent solution - Repost

Thanks Tarle, that was encouraging. Below is the repost (I couldnt edit or add to my earlier comment, hence a repost, sorry)....

It would be partial to say that the government has totally ignored the Primary education system, but, it has not given the attention that it deserves.

Let's undertsand this from a rural perspective as the %age of urban kids deprived of education is relatively lesser,

1. Motivation of teachers to go to school and teach
2. Incentives for kids to goto school
3 Presence Infrastructure in terms of building, desks, books and teaching aids
4. Local politics/policies and other hinderances

Point#1 is a major contributor to the doldrums the primary education system is in. We all know how our fathers and fore-fathers graduated from Govt. run colleges and studied in Govt. run schools and still made it big.
School teachers' unions play a major role in preventing any modifications or punitive actions to correct this. Politicians are also wary since it these primary and high-school teachers that work in poll booths during elections, therefore everyone has his/her own agenda.

If we have to take steps towards solving these problems, then we have to cautiously tread the path without antagonising these sections, atleast in the initial stages.

Its very similar to how ITC established its e-choupal scheme and successfully forayed into the rural direct produce market vis-a-vis the failure of Reliance retail - do it intelligently and incentivise the process.

I think the following steps can lead us to a workable solution, if other knowledgeable members here dont think otherwise,
1. Create a PPP entity that has access to Govt. run schools and/or its own infrastructure, with multiple defined roles
2. The main responsibility of this entity would be to act as a watchdog, monitoring student and teacher strength.
3. The second and most important responsibility of this entity would be to ensure development of students within an assigned circle of schools, with the help of local teachers and other special methods(which can be debated later).
Then, by linking results of school exams and national tests to the revenue of this PPP entity, national level education targets could probably be achieved.

Ofcourse, it follows that loopholes in the screening system and collusion b/w teachers and the ppp entity are minimized or zero, before this project is taken up.

This solution could help steer the current education system from the pits and hold teachers accountable. Since no one in the system is going to loose their jobs, except for teachers with a bad attendance track-record, it potentially could be a win-win situation.

BTW, I am thinking of starting a small-size Vocational training institute for the differently abled with focus on middle-aged individuals with severe disability using my own resources, but I do not have the requisite experience. If someone here is willing to help me plan it, it will be great.

tsubba's picture

ladies can also be used

cz. ayyo hangalla. since i started the discussion, i was cribbing about my failure to take the discussion where i wanted it to go. the issue i realize was that insead of starting from basics and the problem i jumped directly into the solution. as far as i know, no self respecting country has outsourced basic education to private players. in the US there is now something called as a 'no child left behind' policy. which basically gives gives the parents freedom in choosing school districts and some financial incentives to private players to produce educational materials and parents to buy them. but that is about it. in the US kids can _mostly_ only go to schools within the school district in which their house is in. This means that schools have some level of centrality in civic life. so areas in which better schools exist have higher real estate value!! now this on an average means that the best performing schools are in nice little predominently middle class white neighbourhoods. but that is a different issue. i have visited some rural/inner city schools in the US, which are generally considered inferior. but, IMO they are pretty good. in the US, when they talk about badly performing schools, IMHO, it is not about facilities or teacher qualification or absenteeism. In the US the fundamental problems are attitudinal. The basic issue is, in social terms, the teacher does not hold the same position within the class and the kids donot have the same attitude askids in india. yet we must be careful not to read too much into attitudes. this, for example, is a 'report' by what would be an equivalent of a Ist PUC kid. that this report has conceptual flaws is secondary. but the basics are right there. i were to grade this report i would give 10/10. a kid working with his mother tongue, in an accent and language natural to him and _meditating_ on a global idea. the kid produced a complete and original critique that he thunk for himself. whether he is right or wrong is secondary. fundamental take home message is that the kid thought for himself and there was somebody in the school and the system who gave him the freedom to think for himself. and yet this all not uniquely american. growing up we had three teachers for the entire period of high school, who encouraged all sorts of 'nonlinear' behaviour amongst the students. as far as i can count atleast 5 kids in my class out of 60, took these fundamental lessons seriously and turned out to be 'misfits'. these kids went to other schools and almost never fit in. and yet today, i keep talking to them and hence know what they are upto, they are doing some highly nonlinear and radical stuff in their lives. 1/12 is an awesome rate even by american standards, and it is phenomenal for kids in a traditional conservative south indian city that we grew up in. IMO, primary education has nothing to do with computers and calculators. that is all nonsense and basically triumphalism of technology which diverts attention from the real issues. the fundamentals of education are very simple. they need no new technological and organizational wizardry. the fundas are not 2 and 2 is 4 but WHY 2 and 2 is 4. there are some other fundamental disconnects in education. some of which shastri has mentioned. and the fundamental questions are: irrespective of the gold medals in math & science olympiads, and cracking of the JEE, does our schooling even pretend to seed a healthy skepticism and rationality in the young minds? does it even pretend to provide the type of nurture that shastri is talking about? the next question is, how do you instill all this when you have the made the person, the language and attitudes all problematic? what we are teaching is, unless you negate yourself completely and mimic some foriegn clone, including wearing a tie in the hot indian climate, you are worthless. this is the attitude that we are basing our education on and we expect great and unique contributions from kids? i will give you an example. the only thing that differentiates man from the rest of the animals is his facility with language. and yet, in this brave new world of ours, a saleswoman in a prominent store in blr would rather say things like 'ladies can also be used' instead of an articulate and intelligent sales pitch in kannada. i asked, hengasroo upyogsa bhudanedamma? and she would rather reply 'yes sir, ladies can also be used'. this is the level of absurdity that our schools have seeded in. what i want is, karnataka state schooling to be so good that ICSE, CBSE etc not to mention english medium state syllabus, to be inconsequential. karnaata families should not even get doubt about the quality of education.
City.Zen's picture

"when adults take active interest in their children."

The Parikrma schools, whose focus is on children from the slums, obviously cannot accept each and every kid who wants to join. So, they use this filter to select a child whose elders "take active interest in their children."
City Zen
City.Zen's picture


Thanks, Tarle for baring your heart on real education.  I am yet to digest most of it.

"growing up we had three teachers for the entire period of high school, who encouraged all sorts of 'nonlinear' behaviour amongst the students. as far as i can count atleast 5 kids in my class out of 60, took these fundamental lessons seriously."

Does this mean that the enlightened teachers like these 3 hold the key to imparting good education?  So, our teacher training setup needs to be revamped first?

Last week, I talked to a young guy of 27, a college dropout (BSc) who had his schooling at Ramakrishna Ashram's Vidyashala in Mysore.  He was saying that too much discipline in this renowned residential school was responsible for his dislike of studies.  Curiously, both he and his elder brother ( also a dropout from MBBS at Govt. Medical College, Mysore) are both spiritually inclined.  Not sure, if it is in the genes or the schooling.

City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Never let schooling interfere with your education

I personally am of the thinking that schooling and education serve different purposes with some overlap.

One of education's goals has to be to teach people to think for themselves.  It should also enable them to earn a livelihood.  Education can happen (and usually does) even outside school and college.  On this one I think India has done a poor job.  if people are still scared of lunar eclipses (I heard one person say that strange acids form during a lunar eclipses!) it says something. 

Schooling helps a child get along in the world.  He (or she) cannot expect (in general) special treatment in school.  He does not have any special status.  He learns to fight for his rights and realises the world is unfair.  Away from a sheltered life at home, he learns how the world works.

Our schooling system interferes too much with education.  This seems to be built into the structure.  With 1 teacher and 50 students free/radical thinking and doubt is not a likely outcome.  The syllabi focus too much on quantity because of standardised exams.  I remember we had to learn the extent of Ashoka's empire and the 4 (not more/not less) reasons for his converting to Buddhism.  But floods don't make crops grow. 

There is the inability to attract talent into teaching.  With a few exceptions, people who take to teaching are not doing it out of a love of teaching and children.  Many do it as a last resort.

The net result is that the ones with the most receptive minds are being nurtured nowhere close to their potential. 




Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

gowriv's picture

Using the System

There are two ways to improve an education system:

1. Throw out the existing system and start building from scratch. Hundreds of NGOs in the state do this -- many of them are doing wonderful work in providing low-income children with both a strong self-image, creativity, and basic skills.  They also develop models that can be used in other places

2. Work with the system that exists to make it better.  Government education is admittedly flawed, but the fact is that Karnataka has one of the highest enrolment rates in the country.  However bad the schools, children are going to them.  So it's crucial to improve quality.  This is a way to reach millions of children -- and there are more than 5 million children attending government schools in the state.

Even though the government schools are often thought of as hopeless, surveys (see the ASER report at show that private schools that low-income children attend are often teaching them just as much (just as little) as government schools teach.

The government also has plenty of resources for education.  In Karnataka, government education spending comes to about Rs. 5000 per child per year.  The government runs several programmes in its schools -- summer camps, remedial teaching, mid-day meals, a radio education programme, and supplementary programmes supported by NGOs.  Schools teach in children's mother tongues but also teach English with the intention of preparing students for the job market.

So where is it going wrong?  Accountability.  Lots of money, lots of programmes, lots of experts, lots of beautifully designed curriculum, and the largest human resource pool you could possibly have -- but no one to make sure it's working. No one to make that teacher feel that anyone cares if she teaches or not.  Few people to force the government to think critically about whether its top-down initiatives are really having an impact.  

 Why the absence of support?  Middle-class citizens have disengaged from government education, even though they pay taxes for it.  And low-income parents of children in government schools and community members lack the resources and power to make a difference -- they may even feel too intimidated to visit their children's schools.

 It's not that the government doesn't want help -- in fact, Karnataka's education department is unusual among other states in that it's relatively warm to outside input.  It's just up to citizens to have the good faith to participate.





ssheragu's picture

Gowriv very thought


very thought provoking article

I would say that it is better to devlop Govt. schools rather than build new schools, since some infrastructure is already avaialble

One way of improving Govt. schools is for philantrhopists or for people of the community where the Govt. schools are located to adopt the Govt. schools by way of donations for improving infrastructure or by arranging good quality teachers and arranging mid-day breakfast & meals.

We praja members can sit down and definitely chart a fool proof plan to develop Govt. schools not only in Bangalore but throughtout Karnataka / India

Srinath Heragu

SB_YPR's picture

All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy


So if there are practical laws namely such as not needing to have a playground and less height restrictions of the school building and greater FAR/FSI - then it will be very economical to build and hence charge lesser fees to students to recover the investments.

What's the big idea here? If infrastructure is expensive, do away with it and let kids study in dilapidated shanties? I fail to get what you're driving at. School education is not just about feeding kids something from a textbook inside the four walls of a classroom all day long. There has to be physical activity and exercise as part of the school curriculum - and for this, schools MUST have playgrounds and open spaces within their campuses.

Also, no one wants new schools in the CBD anymore - there are enough of those already, and besides a majority of the population resides in the suburbs. So rather than cribbing about high land prices in the CBD, it would make more sense to shift to the outskirts - which is what most of the new 'international schools' are doing.

Manish, Nagarbhavi.


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