Vijayawada: The shortage of mandal education officers in Krishna district is troubling the teachers and students alike. There are 50 mandals in the district and as per the rules, there should be 50 MEOs. However, there are only 34 regular MEOs who are acting as in-charges for additional number of schools.
Hence, the administration of schools is being hit. Moreover, the managements of private and corporate schools are taking advantage of this situation and violating the norms without any serious action being initiated against them. At the same time, the MEOs are also finding it hard to serve two mandals with their attention getting divided. The 34 regular MEOs in the district monitor nearly 4,575 schools having nearly 6,17,498 students. Of them, 1,382 schools are private schools. There are 2,600 primary, 857 upper primary, 1,096 high schools and 22 higher secondary schools. Nearly 11,000 teachers are working in these schools.
Though there are 5 deputy education officers in five divisions to monitor the schools at the division-level, the need for MEOs will be more as they have to monitor the quality of education, implementation of midday meal schemes and ensure payment of salaries to the teachers. These apart, the MEOs also have to look into the requirement of infrastructure in the school and also resolve complaints received from the teachers.
The MEOs have to visit the schools regularly and discuss troubles being faced by the teachers, ensure that quality of education is being maintained, nutritious food is being served in midday meal scheme and also into other issues. They also check the distribution of shoes and uniforms, along with books to the students.
The shortage of MEOs is having an impact on the Class X students who are readying to appear for their Board examinations this year as quality education is no being imparted in some schools which are under the supervision of in-charge MEOs.
Speaking to DC, district education officer M.V. Rajya Lakshmi said that the shortage of MEOs is not a problem in Krishna district alone. Even other districts are also facing the problem, she said.
She accepted that there was a shortage of MEOs and that those working were feeling overburdened as they were acting as in-charges to other mandals, in addition to their duties. "We will be able to get new MEOs only if the government takes a decision on it," she added.