Andhra Pradesh

90% corporate schools fail to make the grade

A member of the A.P. School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission during his surprise visit to a leading corporate school in Kadapa on Thursday.

A member of the A.P. School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission during his surprise visit to a leading corporate school in Kadapa on Thursday.  

Monitoring panel conducts surprise checks in Chittoor, Kadapa districts

Members of the Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission (APSERMC) conducted surprise visits on a number of schools in Chittoor and Kadapa districts on Thursday. The series of raids was meant to find out the gaping holes in infrastructure and chinks in the academic system, in a bid to alert the authorities for corrective action.

The raids revealed that almost 90% of the corporate private schools failed to maintain the minimum standards in terms of student-teacher ratio, classroom space, fee structure and failed even on the civic infrastructure front such as playground, sanitation, fitness of buses, different entry/exit routes, fire safety certificate, etc.

Led by its member V. Narayana Reddy, a retired professor at Sri Venkateswara University, the panel comprising 30 members, raided several schools in Railway Kodur, Rajampet, Kadapa and Proddatur towns. They even interacted with teachers and students to confirm the lapses, if any. Most of the teachers were found to be under-qualified and the corporate schools were learnt to be charging exorbitant fee ranging from ₹60,000 to ₹1.20 lakh from each student in the garb of ‘special focus’, ‘techno’, ‘super classrooms,’ etc.

The raids assume significance as they happened in the district represented by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan mohan Reddy. “It is for this very reason that the panel wants to act tough on the violations, as the government has earmarked the highest spending for the field of education,” Prof. Reddy told The Hindu. Only the presence of required infrastructure and the right academic ambience would help attract students to schools and reduce dropout rate, besides ensuring the success of the flagship programmes like ‘Amma Vodi’ and ‘Gorumudda’, the panel member observed.

Tough message

Post-raid, the schools would be given an opportunity for explanation before the committee, which was formed through a legislative Act and having judicial powers. The managements would also be given a chance to mend their ways in the next three months, failing they would be closed down from the next academic year, Prof. Reddy said.

A similar raid was conducted on ten schools in Tirupati simultaneously, in which Education Department officials from Kadapa district took part.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:05:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/90-corporate-schools-fail-to-make-the-grade/article30813831.ece

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