Hyderabad: There were 29,200 government schools when the state of Telangana came into existence in 2014; in 2017-18 this number had fallen to 26,000, allege teachers who have released an “open chargesheet” on Saturday.
They have framed 10 questions, questioning what MLCs from the teachers' constituency in the Legislative Council have done for education in the past, as well as what those intending to stand for election this time intend to do to improve the situation.
“Candidates from the teachers’ constituency and graduates’ constituency are elected with the hope that they will represent the working community and give voice to our problems. However, at the end of the day, they are just conniving with the government and are not questioning its deeds when there is a clear violation of rights,” said Mutyala Ravinder, state vice president of the Telangana Progressive Teachers’ Federation (TPTF).
The “charge sheet” lists issues such as thousands of vacant teaching posts, reduction of allocation education in the budget, and general underdevelopment of the education sector. the Teachers’ associations in the state say that they need a candidate who is answerable to them.
Headmasters of several government schools say that they do not get funds to buy basic stationary items such as chalks and registers, and cannot even pay the sanitation workers at time.
“There has been no development in terms of school infrastructure. We are running the institutions without proper drinking water and toilet facilities and many schools do not have walls to separate classes,” said the principal of a government high school, who did not to be named.
Chava Ravi, a member of the United Teachers’ Federation, said, “Public education should be strengthened and protected. We need strong candidates to represent us and negotiate the real issues that the department is facing. Many teachers are also facing issues with the pension system and pending promotions. All these should be addressed by the candidate.”