Hyderabad: Telangana has least literacy rate in the country after Bihar. Amongst the 36 states and Union Territories, AP stands at 32 rank, TS stands at 35 while Bihar stands at 36th position in literacy rate.
According to experts, education is not on the state government’s priority list compared to irrigation and other infrastructure projects. Allocation of budgets is very important but it has not been reflected in their budgets in the last four years. The cost to educate a person goes up when the age of learning is higher. That means if you educate a child, you need far lesser resources than trying to educate an adult, but governments spend very less amounts on adult education, say experts.
Mr Venkat Reddy, an education activist said, “The Centre sponsored programme called Sakshara Bharat which was introduced to increase the literacy rate is not active. Sakshara Bharat is one of the CSS programmes which has been delinked. About 18,000 village coordinators and 437 mandal coordinators who are appointed to improve the adult education are on contract basis. The government has not paid their honorarium since April 1, 2018. As many as 40 government staff members who run the adult literacy department get regular salaries but without any results.”
Mr Sandeep Pandey, former member of Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) said, “Telangana has least literacy rates because the State government has not implemented the RTE Act. These governments are under pressure from the private schools and the coaching institutions' lobby to avoid implementation of RTE Act in Telangana and A.P. Hence, Hyderabad, emerging as the biggest coaching hub of country, has become a bane for children from underprivileged categories as it denies them the opportunity to study in schools of their parents’ choice. The upcoming elections are an opportunity for people of Telangana to demand from various political parties in the fray to include the task of implementation of RTE Act, 2009 in their election manifestos.”
Professor Venkat Gaddam Reddy, an education expert, said, “It’s unfortunate that Telangana has least literacy rate compared to other states. One of main reasons is the disproportionate allocation of resources to urban areas like Hyderabad, Warangal, and Ranga Reddy Districts.
According to Telangana socio-economic report, there are 26 districts whose literacy rate is below average. Furthermore there is a difference of 8 per cent to 10 per cent between male and female literacy rates which obviously brings down the state average.