Andhra Pradesh

‘It will send a wrong signal’

The move to make 75% attendance in school mandatory for students’ to become eligible for the benefits of the government’s ‘Amma Vodi’ scheme has drawn mixed response from various quarters.

Though the idea apparently is to check dropouts from schools and to see that students attend classes on a regular basis, many teachers, educationists and parents feel that linking attendance to payment sends a wrong signal.

Attendance should be voluntary and education comes out of interest, they cannot be forced with money. “The government should think of motivating students with good facilities, good teachers and efficient education system, but not try to force them into it by giving money,” says the founder of Bala Vikas Foundation Narava Prakash Rao.

This approach to the education system is wrong. There are a number of ways to bring students to schools and retain them. No State in the country has such schemes and now the government wants to link it up with a mandatory attendance percentage. “The government should realise that tomorrow for everything we have to show the lure of money to get things done, which is going to be a bad trend,” he says.

Another senior teacher from a government school says though it has been said that the mandatory attendance will be applicable from the next academic year, the authorities concerned should keep the issue of COVID-19 pandemic in mind, before implementing it.

As of now, many parents are not sending their children to schools as the pandemic has not subsided fully. In such a scenario, students cannot be forced to come to school, as there is no certainty that the third wave will not come, she adds.

Says Eswar Rao, a carpenter in a private firm, “We appreciate Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s view of cutting down dropouts by implementing the compulsory attendance norm, but given the present situation, who willl take the responsibility of safety of the children?”


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Printable version | May 18, 2022 8:16:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/it-will-send-a-wrong-signal/article37940910.ece