Andhra Pradesh

Andhra school has been waiting for a teacher since the last monsoon

Girijana Prathamika Patasala at Gudisa valley in East Godavari district.

Girijana Prathamika Patasala at Gudisa valley in East Godavari district.  

The school has been closed down and parents are at their wits’ end

Seven-year-old Sadala Sanjeeva Reddi of the Konda Reddi tribe has been eagerly waiting to see his new teacher since the last monsoon in the Rampa Agency of East Godavari district.

A half-year has gone by, but the hopeful class II student still attends school — a mud-walled thatched hut built on the banks of a stream — waiting for the new teacher.

When this correspondent visited Gudisa recently, Sanjeeva narrated about his school and the school life here. “I am prepared to go for higher education (class III) by completing class II here. My parents told me that the new teacher may come any time and I’m waiting,” Sanjeeva told The Hindu at the stream.

Seven years ago, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA-Rampachodavaram) established the school (up to second class) under the Girijana Pradamika Patasala model. From class III, the children are required to be admitted to a welfare hostel-cum-school at Pollangi, 14 km away from here.

The school is the only public institution in Gudisa hamlet, which is located in a grass-land valley surrounded by five hills — Karakonda, Manikyadevi, Peda Konda, Peena and Cheru. It is 65 km away from the headquarters of the ITDA-Rampachodavaram.

Sanjeeva’s mother, Sadala Chandrakala, puts it: “At 7, I cannot afford to send my only boy to study in the hostel at Pollangi. I want the school to be run here itself. I will wait till the school reopens.”

Ms. Chandrakala’s two children, including a baby girl, died of ill health in recent years. “One baby died even before we celebrated his naming ceremony. If the school runs, our children will be with us at least up to a certain age”, Mr. Chandrakala told The Hindu.

Red tape

Maredumilli Mandal Education Officer Kusalava Dora said: “Last year, the school was run with a local Vidya volunteer after the regular teacher was transferred. The volunteer quit before the commencement of this academic year. We did not receive any reply from the ITDA regarding appointing a teacher/volunteer till now.”

Downing the school shutters, 12 students, including five girls, were shifted to Pollangi welfare hostel from Gudisa, in which nearly 25 families live in 20 huts. Now, the total population of Gudisa is above 100 as claimed by the villagers (92 as per the 2011 Census).

Sanjeeva and his classmates Kondla Chilukamma, Sadala Neelamma, Sadala Santamma, Sadala Biridi and Mani are the worst hit with the closure of the school here.

ITDA Rampachodavaram Project Officer Nishant Kumar said: “There is a shortage of teachers. However, a Volunteer will be appointed (For Gudisa school)”. However, Sanjeeva, his friends and the villagers do not know when Gudisa would get a new teacher.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:32:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/waiting-for-a-teacher-since-the-last-monsoon/article30428386.ece

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