S. Harpal Singh

Plan to convert tribal residential welfare schools into institutions of excellence

ADILABAD: As many as 59 tribal welfare residential schools in the State will be converted into institutions of excellence this year with a view to improving educational standards among tribal students. Eventually, all the 200 residential schools will be converted into such institutions that will have better facilities besides a change in syllabus and highly qualified teachers.

The Government will spend about Rs. 3 to Rs. 4 crore to upgrade each of these residential schools. For new institutions to be established the budget will be of the size of about Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 crore.

Job opportunities

Joint Director (Planning) Tribal Welfare, China Veera Bhadrudu, said the Government was already spending about Rs. 420 crore amounting to 66 per cent of the budget on education for tribals.

Thrust on education was being given because it offered employment and livelihood opportunities to tribals in the face of static resources coming under pressure from the increasing population.

The Government is seized of the fact that tribal students emerging from residential schools fail to compete with other students in the job market.

Their main drawback is lack of standard.

This can be done away with if the tribal students are exposed to the type of education that is offered in institutions of excellence,” Mr. Veera Bhadrudu said.

There are about 2.85 lakh tribal students studying in 599 ashram and 200 residential schools in Andhra Pradesh.

These students pass the qualifying exam (graduation) but cannot proceed any further in getting employment.

Medical insurance

The Government has already introduced the Rajiv Giribala Raksha Scheme of medical insurance in tribal schools.

Tribal students facing illnesses can get free treatment up to Rs. 5,000 at identified corporate hospitals that form part of the network, the Joint Director said.