Telangana government schools fail to enrol students

HYDERABAD: Even as the government claims that students are switching over to state-run schools from private institutions, the stark reality is that 1,366 government schools had zero enrolment for 2022-23. This figure includes many high schools, according to the latest data with the state education department.

Contrary to the projected figures, enrolment of students in government schools, which was at three lakh in the 2021-22 academic year, has come down to one lakh.

An official from the department blamed this trend to the “ineptness” of teachers in handling English medium classes. The personal involvement of teachers and interaction with students hardly exists, said an official requesting anonymity.

“I am not saying that the quality of education is better in private schools. But there are a significant number of teachers in private schools and they are assured of basic facilities, proper infrastructure and teachers, who converse in English and encourage children as well. In government schools, teachers do not talk nor explain lessons in English,” said the official.

However, if teaching in English was mandated in primary classes, students would learn how to speak, read and write in English at least by the time they enter high school, added the official.

Dearth of teachers, poor safety standards, lack of sympathy from teachers and the government were other major reasons.

Education Secretary V. Karuna said the zero enrolment depended on the size of the school and added that private schools were mushrooming, all over. Taking exception to the data, Karuna said that the overall enrolment in government schools had increased by 1.5 lakh.
“We have been moving staff from zero enrolment schools to those with high student strength. If a small school in a village is shut down, it does not impact students because there are bigger government schools in the vicinity. From the upcoming academic year, we will track the attendance of students across government schools. This will help us keep an eye on each school and we will then be able to decide about zero enrolment schools,” she said.
She exuded confidence that students will return to government schools.

C.H. Ravi, general secretary of Telangana State United Teachers Federation (TSUTF) said that shortage of teachers was leading to zero enrolment. Secondly, schools that were earlier built in slum areas were likely to have zero enrolment as people in the surroundings were earning better and wanting to shift their wards to private schools, he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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