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Updated: June 11, 2012 12:55 IST

Schools set to reopen amid uncertainty

P. Sujatha Varma
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For children of State-run schools, the road ahead seems to be bumpy.
The Hindu For children of State-run schools, the road ahead seems to be bumpy.

A major chunk of the textbooks stocks have not arrived and neither have the authorities concerned received bales of the cloth to be used for stitching uniforms for students.

Children will return to classrooms in the next couple of days with mixed feelings, as a new academic year begins.

But, for the students of State-run schools, it will be a feeling of déjà vu – a familiar uncertainty that stares them in the eyes at the beginning of almost every fresh academic year.

A major chunk of the textbooks stocks have not arrived and neither have the authorities concerned received bales of the cloth to be used for stitching uniforms for students.

“It may take another 10 days for the uniform cloth to reach us. From the date of supply of the cloth, an additional 10 days will be needed to get the uniforms stitched by the local tailors,” said Rajiv Vidya Mission's Krishna district coordinator Murali Krishna on Sunday.

The State government plans to distribute two pairs of uniform to 56 lakh students across Andhra Pradesh schools in the current academic year.

Deviating from the past practice of distributing readymade uniforms, the government this year has decided to decentralise the uniform-stitching activity, asking respective school management committees to select suitable local tailors for the purpose.

Medium of instruction

Andhra Pradesh Special Chief Secretary, Primary Education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Chandana Khan, had made this announcement in a recent press conference, pointing out that it would also provide livelihood to local self-help groups and tailors.

“It is the same old story yet again. The authorities concerned don't seem to be interested in learning from past mistakes. Not even 50 per cent of the textbooks have arrived. Change of syllabus for classes 2, 3, and 7 is compounding the confusion. English, which was introduced as the medium of instruction in the 6th, 7th, 8th , and 9th classes, will be introduced in the 10th class this year. But the government seems to be in no hurry to appoint efficient and adequate staff for the purpose,” laments B. Nageswara Rao, Krishna district general secretary of the United Teachers' Federation.

Infrastructure woes

Drinking water scarcity, shortage of toilets, and absence of compound walls are other infrastructure problems plaguing most schools, he says. Mr. Nageswara Rao also finds fault with the fact that teachers are being imparted training without proper modules and textbooks. “A sum of Rs. 15 crore, granted for the exercise, will serve no purpose,” he adds.

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