Nation Current Affairs 21 Aug 2021 Corona crisis-hit pa ...

Corona crisis-hit parents opting for government schools in AP

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Aug 21, 2021, 11:53 pm IST
Updated Aug 21, 2021, 11:55 pm IST
As many as 6.23 lakh new students have joined government schools in 13 districts of AP. (Representational Photo: DC)
 As many as 6.23 lakh new students have joined government schools in 13 districts of AP. (Representational Photo: DC)

VIJAYAWADA: Cooronavirus-induced financial crisis for past one-and-a-half years and visible reforms in government schools of Andhra Pradesh are driving parents into admitting their children into state schools and benefit from quality education provided free of cost.

Significantly, government schools in the 13 districts of AP have registered 43.44 lakh enrolments compared to earlier 37.21 lakh admissions. Incomes of majority people have been hit by Corona lockdown, with lost jobs or pay cuts. They cannot anymore pay high fee to continue their children in corporate and private schools. Nadu-Nedu and other reforms, including English medium, have come as a blessing in disguise for them.

According to education department officials, enrolment in all types of schools in the state had been 72.33 lakh in 2014–15. It dropped to 70.43 lakh in 2018–19 but has reached 73.06 lakh in 2020–21. Enrolment in government schools of the state alone had been 42.83 lakh in 2014–15. It dropped to 37.21 lakh in 2018–19 but has risen to 43.44 lakh by 2020–21. In other words, as many as 6.23 lakh new students have joined government schools in 13 districts of AP. This is a record in the state’s education sector.

Modernisation of 15,715 government schools under the first phase of Nadu Nedu – Mana Badi at a cost of Rs. 3,699 crore changed the outlook towards government schools in AP. In the second phase, 16,368 government schools will be renovated at a cost of Rs. 4,535 crore. Overall, Rs. 16,025 crore are to be spent on government schools for their up-gradation, including facilities like toilets with running water, drinking water, major and minor repairs, tube lights and fans, furniture, green chalkboards, painted schools, English lab, kitchen and a compound wall.

Private employees D. Rajasekhar and Y. Brahma Naidu point out that Corona forced them into a huge financial crisis due to major decrease in their incomes. They said they recently went to a government school to view the changes and have been amazed to see that they are on par with some corporate schools. They said they do not have to worry about donations.

Further their children get three pairs of uniforms, an Oxford English to Telugu dictionary, one pair of shoes, two pairs of socks, bilingual textbooks, notebooks, a belt and school bag – all free of cost. This is a big boon for parents facing a financial crunch due to Covid-19.

A trader S. Prabhakar Rao said after he paid fees, schools got closed last year due to Corona second wave. Now, there is a prediction of Covid-19 third wave, with more waves not being ruled out in the future. This would anyway lead to private and corporate schools suspending physical classes. Hence, there is no use in paying fees to them. Government schools are a better alternative, Prabhakar Rao stated. Government school teachers are also offering online classes through various social media platforms.

A school headmistress S. Rani said students earlier used to go out for nature calls, which severely troubled girl students, leading to dropouts. She said now that their school is modernised with toilets and all other amenities, enrolment of students has increased.

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