Hyderabad: Government schools in Hyderabad don’t attract the attention of private companies even though Hyderabad is hailed for its many information technology and pharmaceutical companies. There are 680 schools in Hyderabad and not one has been adopted under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) even though most of the schools lack sufficient infrastructure or funds for providing quality education to their students. Education department officials could cite only one activity taken up under CSR this year in the city.
A public sector unit, NTPC, came forward to construct toilets for a government girls’ high school in West Marredpally. Last year, multinational company General Electric had shown interest in supporting government schools and asked for a list of schools that require the most attention which was provided to them. However, the company hasn’t reverted yet. Same is the case in mandals which fall under Ranga Reddy and Medak districts just outside Hyderabad city, from where most of the companies operate. Serilingampally mandal is home to areas like Gachibowli, Kondapur and Madhapur where many multinational IT companies are located.
One company adopted 11 of the 54 government schools there. In Ramachandrapuram, Medak district where pharmaceutical and chemical companies are located, only one of the 33 government schools has been adopted by a chemical company. An official of the Ranga Reddy education department said, “Some IT companies come forward and provide support but it is mostly in the form of providing school uniform or books for students but rarely has there been support where it is required the most, in construction of classrooms, toilets and providing furniture for schools.”
A common problem cited by some Mandal Education Officers from Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medak was that private companies which offer help through CSR do not coordinate with school authorities directly but with higher level officials who have less knowledge of ground reality in schools and end up providing things which are less essential.
The Zilla Parishad High School in Gachibowli saw its fortunes turn around after it was adopted by a private company, Cyient, under Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. School Principal, Dr T Anuradha, said that because of the CSR initiative the school got a laboratory worth Rs 50 lakhs. Five teachers under the Vidya Volunteer Scheme have been recruited whose salaries are being paid by the private company. Toilets and three classrooms have been constructed in the school. Maintenance and cleaning of toilets is being paid for and security guard has been employed and two new computers were received this week by the school. Apart from this the school children's uniforms, bags and books are also provided for.
Dr Anuradha says, "It is important that companies come forward in adopting government schools where most of the students who study are from weak socio-economic background. Provision of good infrastructure ensures that the students stay interested in education and also boosts their ambitions for studying hard and getting a better standard of living than they are having now. Ours is a Telugu medium school but with good infrastructure now, the strength is as high as 600 students. The dropout rate is very less. Just having a security guard and hygienic toilets in the school made parents more confident of sending their kids to school."