Spotlight- Telangana

Combined efforts of stakeholders help propel enrolment drive

The combined efforts of the stakeholders coupled with renewed focus on strengthening the school infrastructure and introduction of English medium instruction in all government schools have led to marked improvement in student enrolment in many State-run schools in north Telangana region in the current academic year.

The increased community engagement in the vigorous “Badi Bata” enrolment campaign highlighting English medium instruction in government schools and free textbooks and uniforms, besides qualified teachers, appears to have helped several government/local body schools improve admissions.

The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic also played a key role in improving student enrolments in government schools as many lower-middle income parents also joined their wards in government schools unable to afford fee in private schools.

However, the scenario is not the same in all the districts due to the varying degree of community participation in the campaign and various other local factors.

“Mana Ooru Mana Badi”, an initiative launched by the State government recently to improve amenities in government schools on par with private schools, provided the much needed fillip to the school enrolment drive.

Several schools which faced the risk of closure due to poor student strength until a few years ago got a new lease of life with the multiple initiatives to promote student enrolment drive.

A string of initiatives backed by active participation of the local body elected representatives and other members of the community increased admissions in government schools to a significant extent in Rajanna Sircilla district.

There are currently 55,955 students enrolled in as many as 534 government/local body schools as against 20,313 students in a total of 122 private schools across the district in the present academic year, sources said.

As many as 172 State-run schools were selected under the first phase of Mana Ooru Mana Badi programme in the district. Administrative sanction was accorded for various repair/renovation and other infrastructure development works in 153 schools and works were already grounded in as many as 35 schools.

Of the total 3,10,090 textbooks required, only a little over 1.22 lakh textbooks reached the district till date. School uniforms are yet to be stitched and supplied to the students.

To foster art appreciation and ensure a child-friendly atmosphere, the school education authorities have implemented a wall painting project in select schools in the past.

The accomplished artists transformed the school walls into virtual art galleries by painting impressive pictures of Golconda Fort, Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, railway engine, double-decker bus among other themes on select schools in Mustabad, Yellareddypet, Veernapalli and other mandals.

Thanks to the active involvement of the community, the student strength in the Mandal Parishad Primary School (MPPS) in Avunoor of Mustabad mandal increased to 170.

The collective efforts of the local villagers supported by some donors seem to have paid off with the school surmounting the challenges posed by the mushrooming private schools in the nearby towns.

“Our villagers are in the forefront of spearheading a door-to-door school enrolment campaign to strengthen both the ZP High School and the MPPS,” says Malla Reddy of Avunoor.

It is the collective responsibility of all to protect the government schools, which are endowed with well-qualified teachers, offering free education and other multifarious benefits, at no cost.

I have joined my daughter in the MPPS with a lot of trust in the well experienced teachers and impressed by the track record of the school as well as the aesthetic appeal of the school building, says another villager referring to the painting of Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project on the exterior walls of the school building.

Sources said that the State-run schools in Beerpur mandal, an erstwhile naxal bastion, in Jagtial district are grappling with shortage of teachers despite maintaining steady strength of students.

Sustained efforts by all the stakeholders helped the almost defunct government primary school at Samela village in Wankidi mandal of Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district get the requisite student strength this academic year.

In the tribal dominated Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, several State run schools continue to face infrastructure deficiencies due to their location in far flung areas.

According to sources, the MPPS at Venaka Thanda in Julurupadu mandal is beset with the recurring problem of waterlogging as it is functioning from a “dilapidated” building.

As many as 368 government schools in Bhadradri Kothagudem district were selected under the first phase of the “Mana Ooru Mana Badi.” Infrastructure development works were grounded in around 250 schools, says E Somasekhara Sarma, DEO, Bhadradri-Kothagudem.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 8:17:36 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/combined-efforts-of-stakeholders-help-propel-enrolment-drive/article65585561.ece