Don’t gift them fish. Teach them how to fish.

While the State loses sweat over “transfer of power”, over whether swamijis should go abroad, over whether locals have a birth right for railway jobs, the key issues of the day—the state of our schools, the state of our hospitals, the state of our roads, etc—attract abysmal attention from the elected (and self-appointed) soldiers of the language and the land.

Nikhil Moro threw light on Karnataka’s pathetic showing on the Annual State of Education Survey here a few days ago. Shruba Mukherjee, in yesterday’s Deccan Herald, reports that Karnataka is slipping so rapidly on the Composite Education Development Index that it is now ranked lowest among the four southern states, excluding Andhra Pradesh, which is not saying much.

While the State soars over the national average in the enrolment of scheduled caste, other backward castes, and minority children, it is not doing much else well. Access is stationary as the number of primary and higher primary schools remains constant.

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Karnataka’s position on EDI in 2005-06 at primary level: eighth.

Karnataka’s position on EDI in 2006-07 at primary level: twelfth

Karnataka’s position on EDI in 2005-06 at higher primary level: sixth

Karnataka’s position on EDI in 2006-07 at higher primary level: ninth

Karnataka’s overall position in 2005-06: sixthKarnataka’s overall position in 2006-07: eighth

Muslim enrolment at the primary level across the nation: 9.39 per cent

Muslim enrolment at the primary level in Karnataka: 13.54 per cent

Karnataka: 44 per cent of primary schools do not have boundary walls

Read the full story: State slips in education ladder

Also read: Yella not OK, guru. Nanna makkalu is not learning