Investment in govt schools will go in vain

Investment in govt schools will go in vain
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‘Investment in govt schools will go in vain’. ‘We invested heavily in government schools.

Hyderabad: Why couldn’t Andhra Pradesh government implement 25 per cent reservation in private schools for children from the economically weaker sections of the society? This question lingers on in the minds of many people in the State. But there is a valid reason for it.

‘We invested heavily in government schools. In spite of that, only 50 per cent of the students study in government schools while the rest flock to private schools. If the 25 per cent of quota is implemented, there is a danger that all the efforts on government schools will go in vain,” said Usha Rani, State project director, Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM).
She was speaking at a two-day national seminar on the ‘Right to Education: Issues and concerns in implementation’ at University of Hyderabad here on Tuesday. The seminar was organised by the State Institute of Educational Management & Training (SIEMAT), Rajiv Vidya Mission in collaboration with Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad. The committee appointed by the government had given some modalities which would be implemented from the next academic year, said the RVM project director.
“After the implementation of the Right to Education Act, the enrollment in Andhra Pradesh eventually shot up to 100 per cent in the schools. Although enrollment is very high, retention of the students is still a problem at the primary school level. Of 100 per cent enrollment at the class I, only 75 per cent complete class VIII, since 25 per cent drop out of the schools for various reasons. Lot needs to be done regarding the dropout rate,” said Usha Rani.
Talking about the infrastructure in the state schools, she said that many schools in the AP don’t have enough classrooms even today. “We need to construct 20,000 classrooms across schools in the State,” the RVM project director added.
Poonam Malakondiah, Principal secretary, primary education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan , said that all countries preparing their wards for the next decade who will compete with others in the international job markets, therefore it is essential for us to what type of education needs to be given in the classrooms so that our students can equally compete not just at the national level but at international level.
Speaking about quality of teaching, Poonam said that large set of teachers who are working in the schools should be able to give quality education, at end students should have some level of self sufficient.
On the school management committees, the Principal secretary for primary education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan said that local bodies have to play crucial role if we need to have sustainability in the schools system.
“Various independent studies have shown that 25-40 per cent children in the class V do not have reading and writing skills of even class II. With these inadequacies , children going to class VI, VII, are unable to bear the pressure of burden in learning which is the one of the reason for school drop at the class VIII,” said Poonam.
Speaking about adult literacy, the Principal Secretary for primary education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan said that according to the 2011census, Andhra Pradesh is at the bottom of the chart in adult literacy. “We are the one of the least literate states in the country. We have 477 mandals where female literacy is less than 50 per cent, which is impacting the retention levels of children in the classrooms,” said Poonam.
“When we spoke to the rural parents, they have put three demands before us: We want government schools to have at least six-seven teachers like in private schools. We need English medium in government schools. Give us pre-primary education centres inside the school. Don’t delink child education centres with the schools,” said Poonam Malakondaiah.
Former vice-chancellor Dr B R Ambedkar University, Chandrashekhar Rao, Dean, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Professor Aloka Parashar Sen, also spoke at the event. The two-day event will conclude on Wednesday.
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