Amid lockdown, 1 in 4 Intermediate students has dropped out in Telangana

Many students had to drop out to earn for their financial crises-hit families, said teachers

Hyderabad: Over 25 per cent of students of Intermediate colleges have dropped out in the last two years due to the multiple interruptions in education and online classes. Another 20 per cent of girl students have been married off by their parents, according to a survey.

Students just lost interest in studies due to online education and frequent breaks in physical classes, said Gouri Satish, president, Telangana Private Junior College Managements Association (TPJMA), who conducted the survey.

Many students had to drop out to earn for their financial crises-hit families, said teachers. They said they had come across students who had taken to drinking liquor, and even theft.

"The government did not take care of Intermediate students. While school students were provided the TSAT channel, and degree students were better placed to follow online classes, there was not a single order from the government for intermediate students regarding online education,” Satish said.

He said that there are about 9.4 lakh Intermediate students of whom only about 10 per cent studied through the online mode in private colleges. “What about the rest,” Satish asked.

“There was hardly anything we understood from the online classes. It was mentally challenging for us to study online. We could not even go to our friends to understand concepts due to Covid,” said Twinkle Khana, an Intermediate first year student.

“Students were ready to come for physical classes as we were vaccinated. We did not even have any classes during this vacation," she said.

The government decision to reopen educational institutes may have come too late as many students had picked up part-time jobs as earning a livelihood is a bigger challenge, especially for low-income groups. Many colleges could not even conduct quarterly examinations for the students.

Teachers too have had to take up odd jobs like selling vegetables to make up for lost salaries. “There was no help from the government as well. This is a critical period for intermediate students and more courses should be taught to them for their future, but students are lagging behind even with the syllabus,” said a teacher.

Satish said 35 per cent of the syllabus is pending for Intermediate students even in major colleges.

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