Staff Reporter

Rs. 50 lakhs earmarked for them from Urdu Academy budget

  • Their number to be increased from 187 to 200
  • They will start functioning from September 15

    Hyderabad: They have finally got a reprieve. The Open Schools facing the threat of closure are here to stay. The Urdu Academy has decided to not only continue them but also increase their number from 187 to 200. They are going to start functioning from September 15. Following reports of their ineffective functioning, the Minorities Welfare Department had decided to wind them up.

    However, the newly constituted 15-member board of the Urdu Academy plans to give them a new lease of life. It is decided to cancel some of the bogus schools which existed only on paper. After a thorough verification the new schools will be allowed, it is said. So far a record 421 applications have been received from all over the State from educated unemployed youth for setting up the schools. The maximum number of 185 applications are from Hyderabad followed by Kadapa 29, Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy district 26 each.

    Open Schools were first set up in 1998 in 13 districts with a view to impart education to the underprivileged children and to bring the dropouts back to school. The Government has recently enhanced the Urdu Academy budget from Rs. 432 lakh to Rs. 586.50 lakh. Of this an amount of Rs. 50 lakhs has been earmarked for the Open Schools as against Rs. 28 lakh the previous year. The remuneration for Open School teachers is also proposed to be hiked from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,000. "A decision to this effect will be taken at the next board meeting", said Academy chairman, Raheemuddin Ansari. The Academy, which has several schemes, has started giving them a shape following receipt of the first quarter grant of Rs. 146 lakh. The grant was due in June but it is only recently that the money is released.