Revelling in the declaration of separate statehood for Telangana are not only people and politicians of the region, but also educational institutions, especially those in and around the city.
Owners of private schools and colleges heaved a collective sigh of relief as the declaration possibly put an end to frequent agitations, bandhs and tense situations, which had been hampering the institutions in a big way for the past four years.
Teachers and students were the most harried lot, being forced to rush through incomplete syllabi in a jiffy by the end of each academic year.
With academic plans going haywire, school managements would literally base their teaching schedules on the happenings on the Telangana agitation front.
“For the last four years, schools and academic institutions have had a harrowing time, rushing students through the course in a limited time. With many students not able to catch up with the speed, the overall result, too, would be affected. Academically, Hyderabad has slipped to the 22 position during the last few years, from the earlier fifth or sixth order,” said S. Sreenivas Reddy, president of A.P. Recognised Private Schools Managements’ Association.
On an average, 20 to 30 working days were lost every year since 2009, he said. Students’ organisations calling bandhs on different dates disturbed academic plans.
“The declaration is welcome as it will put an end to bandhs. We are hearing of agitations in Seemandhra now. Our plea to agitators is not to disturb educational institutions. They can trouble the government by closing down wine shops, not by closing schools,” Mr. Reddy says.
Schools that follow the CBSE syllabus have every reason to celebrate, as they faced more hardship than State schools thanks to frequent bandhs.
“I personally feel highly relieved at the declaration of a separate State as the issue is resolved, and we can function as per the plans. I remember the time two years ago when we had asked ninth graders to come in civil dress to take exam. We could not ply buses, so asked parents to drop their wards at the school. It was akin to an undercover operation,” recalls Shobha Dasika, Academic Coordinator for Classes VIII to X at Meridian School.
As schools had to function in sync with the Central Board, they could not get any special consideration in view of the local unrest.
“We tried our level best not to close down even during the thick of agitations. We had to coordinate a lot with the Board as well as agitators, especially during exam time. Parents and students had to undergo hardship. We are happy that the situation will be normal again,” says D. Usha Reddy, chairperson of Hyderabad Sahodaya Schools Complex and Academic Director at Meridian School.