Most Schools in Telangana are without Headmasters, teachers and basic infrastructure: DISE Report

Most Schools in Telangana are without Headmasters, teachers and basic infrastructure: DISE Report
Highlights

According to the District Information System for Education Report 2015-16, there are 398 primary schools, four upper primary schools, and three high schools are with zero enrolment in Telangana State. About 980 primary schools, 10 upper primary schools, and two high schools have an enrolment between 1 and 10.

According to the District Information System for Education Report 2015-16, there are 398 primary schools, four upper primary schools, and three high schools are with zero enrolment in Telangana State. About 980 primary schools, 10 upper primary schools, and two high schools have an enrolment between 1 and 10.

The data also reveals that many schools are functioning with strength 40-50 children, below the minimum strength schools are 75. Moreover, 95 percent schools including government and private schools are functioning without a full-time headmaster or principal.

The startling facts the report highlights that out of 42,632 private and government schools in Telangana, 40,507 schools don’t have either regular principal or in charge Head Master. Nearly 16,313 schools in the state have two or fewer teachers.

Through the prescribed norms for the teacher-student ratio is 1:35 in the state, about 2,125 schools do not have teachers at all while 5,046 schools have only on teacher and 9,142 schools have just two teachers only. Among the Telangana districts with zero teachers: Adilabad (559), Medak (327), Mahbubnagar(301), Rangareddy (298), Khammam(155), Nizamabad (126), Karimnagar (101) and Warangal (101), according to the report.

Besides this, at least 11,295 schools have less than two classrooms with 175 institutions functioning with zero classrooms in the state. Districts with zero classroom schools are Adilabad, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy and Warangal.

Acute shortage of Principals or teachers has a bearing effect on the education of children, the report laments that about 40 to 50 percent of children are unable to read and write in mother tongue and more than 70 percent in English. Similarly, Children are unable to do basic arithmetical operations of subtraction, multiplication, and division. In order to address the issue, the government called for suggestions. According to Economic Survey of 2016, Telangana too lags behind in student enrolment.

Education experts attribute the reasons for a lack of reading and writing skills of children are that the teachers are irregular, there is no check on them and even if they attended, there is no guarantee that they teach, although they are well-paid. The other reason is that school buildings are in dilapidated conditions with leaks during the rainy season and are unsafe, lack of furniture and in winter and summer the only way to teach is in open yards. Since there is hardly any teaching in government schools, financially weak parents are opting for private schools despite exorbitant fees with an increase of 10 percent every year.

But parents, who are rich, feel happy with private schools, as the private schools ferry the children to a nearby town every day in their own buses. Due to prevailing drought and famine, poor parents cannot pay such huge fees and the children automatically drop off from the schools. The result is that the children take up the family profession and agriculture.
Education experts also attribute for the pathetic state of school education in the state and expressed dismay to know that 95% school don't have regular a principal or headmaster. In most cases, teachers take up the responsibilities of the principal. The government needs to rectify this situation immediately because the absence of a principal leads to low level of accountability".

Recently, Telangana has unveiled IT hub and become number one in the country for IT hub, but 27,495 schools still don't have computers. If that's not enough, even basic facilities such as electricity, drinking water, and toilets do not exist in several schools. The report further reveals that 3,588 schools function without electricity, 2,558 have no drinking water facility and 4,539 schools have dysfunctional toilets.

Under, Right to Education Act, it was found that a meagre 4,870 of the 14,710 schools have kitchens for mid-day meals while 12,613 out of 27,978 schools have no boundary walls and 16,068 out of 24,750 schools have no playground.

At a time when the State government is chalking out plans to implement its ambitious KG-to-PG free education programme, what is causing worry is that the lack of basic toilet facilities in most of the schools across Telangana.

According to the report, this is not confined to government schools, even many private schools do not provide basic infrastructure in the schools. About 7945 government schools in the state do not have girls’ toilets while 14,884 schools do not have boys’ toilets. The report notes that management of school infrastructure is a key problem in the state. Although sufficient funds have been released for construction of toilets, there is a total of 7881 schools with dysfunctional girls’ toilets and due to ineffective management boys’ toilets in as many as 3952 schools are not being used.

This is not the case with schools in rural areas and towns. It is similar even in Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts, with 732 government schools are without girls’ toilets, while 340 boys’ schools do not have bathrooms. Most of the schools cite a shortage of or complete lack of maintenance funds for not having proper toilets. It is a high time when the government is planning to go for KG-to- PG education system in the state to provide human resources to revitalize the education system.

Gudipati Rajendera Kumar

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