Though opened in 1998 it did not function till December 2012

The Mandal Praja Parishad primary school at Vasamamidi under Gadathuru panchayat in G. Madugula mandal in Visakha Agency seems to be the best example of sad state of primary education in the interior Girijan villages.

The schools existed since 1998 on records but did not function till December 2012. Two young women, appointed through DSC, are running the school regularly since January. Pupils are served lunch only during January.

This was what about 10 boys and girls of the school who came down to the city from their village to narrate the bad shape of their school at a press conference on Monday. The details of pay and allowances paid to the Head Master of the school and the expenditure on mid-day meal scheme are obtained by the Visakha District Mahatma Gandhi NREGS Mates Federation through a petition filed under the Right to Information Act.

Sukuru Bujjibabu, one of the pupils, said the school was not running till December last year. Midday meal was served only during January. S. Srinivasa Rao, divisional convenor of the mates’ federation, said midday meals was served only during January when the villagers requested the local ration shop dealer to supply rice. But the dealer did not continue the supply since the Head Master of the school has to sign on the request. The children are missing the meal because the Head Master is not attending the school.

No amenities

The school building was built in 2005 but within a few weeks it was damaged in a cyclone and was not repaired in spite of many memoranda submitted to the Tribal Welfare Minister and local officials. Of the 58 children in the village, 46 attend the school. The villagers also need good road connectivity, power supply and drinking water supply.

General secretary of the AP Vyavasaya Vrittidarula Union P.S. Ajay Kumar and coordinator of MV Foundation Y. Rajendra Prasad said the sorry state of affairs was continuing as the teachers unions, politicians and education department were acting in a “quid pro quo” manner. Except schools in roadside villages and in Gram Panchayat headquarters, no school functions in interior villages, to which transport facilities are almost nil. Teachers do not attend school but draw salary and other allowances. They “outsource” unemployed Girijan youth who studied up to X class or Intermediate. If action was contemplated against them or some officer wanted to monitor the schools, politicians would interfere. To overcome the problem and ensure that Girijan children are given proper education, the government must establish residential schools in panchayat headquarters and teachers and staff of the school must reside in the village where their school is located or at least in the panchayat headquarters, Mr. Ajay Kumar said.

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