Andhra Pradesh

Parents oppose scrapping of ‘Best Available Schools’ scheme

Parents staging a dharna at Balayogi Gurukul School in Kadapa on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Parents of several students staged dharna in front of the Balayogi Gurukul school on the outskirts of Kadapa on Wednesday, denouncing the State government’s decision to scrap the Best Available Schools scheme.

Launched in the 1980s, the scheme that entailed provision of free seats to eligible SC/ST students in private schools was touted to be among the top welfare schemes meant for SC/ST students. The State government’s announcement to do away with the scheme, in view of the enhanced focus given to school education amid the launch of ‘Amma Vodi’, ‘Nadu Nedu’, has not gone well with the two communities, who demanded that the G.O. on repealing the scheme be withdrawn immediately.

“Instead of rectifying anomalies, if any, it is not right to strike down a scheme that benefits the poorer social sections,” an affected parent said. Another parent was worried if he would have to pay a hefty fee for admitting his ward in a corporate school or leave him in the social welfare school.

On the flip side, the scheme came under fire for remaining unnoticed for long, with neither the Education department, nor the Social Welfare department monitoring its implementation. Contacted by The Hindu, Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission member and a retired professor V. Narayana Reddy said the scheme had been thoroughly misused over the last decade by certain private schools.

“Some treated it as a main source of income by managing the welfare department to get their schools approved even without hostels and students not staying there. The money sanctioned to these target groups is snatched away by the private managements,” he explained.

Though the authorities had brought the loopholes to the notice of the erstwhile TDP government, no action was initiated then, Prof. Reddy said, hailing the incumbent regime for taking steps to streamline the scheme to benefit the real target groups.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 11:57:47 AM |

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