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Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002

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Southern States - Andhra Pradesh

Lack of infrastructure hits `Education for all'

By Our Staff Reporter

KARIMNAGAR MARCH 26. Even as the State Government has launched an ambitious project of `Education for all' in all school-less habitations by collecting education cess on excise duty, none of the primary schools sanctioned under the project is having classrooms, black boards, furniture for teaching staff and basic facilities.

In Karimnagar district, about 554 primary schools were sanctioned during the last academic year trough GO MS number 62 in all school-less habitations. Initially, Vidya volunteers had conducted classes in these schools. Later, regular teachers were appointed through DSC-2001 selections in December 2001. Though, the single teacher schools were set up for a noble cause of 100 per cent enrolment and reduction of dropout rate as well as removing child labour, the achievement of desired goals had remained a distant dream.

During a visit to Santoshnagar, a hamlet of Valampahad about 10 km from the district headquarters, it was found that a single teacher school was running in roof-less classroom just beside the busy Karimnagar-Mancherial road. The Government had sanctioned a primary school in this

SC-dominated habitation during June 2001. The school was set up in a private building with a Vidya volunteer and due to non-payment of rent to the house owner, the school was vacated from the premises in December after the appointment of regular teacher.

The school teacher, Satyanarayana Reddy, said the Government could not pay the rent of Rs 100 per month to the school so the owner had taken away the three benches and two chairs of the school as rent and vacated the school. Since then the classes for 45 students were being conducted in a SC community hall which had no roof and flooring. The teacher had urged the parents, who are hamalies working in rice and ginning mills in the area, for construction of temporary thatched roof for children. But none had come forward and only a small piece of polythene sheet was provided for shade which was not sufficient, he said.

The teacher said that he had taken this matter to the notice of the village education committee and the mandal educational officer, but in vain. He said that the children were facing hardships in summer by sitting in the scorching sun on the floor and several parents were not sending their children to school. The State Teachers Union district president, M Prathap Reddy, said that there were about 900-odd schools without classrooms in the district including 25 schools in and around Karimnagar town. Contrary to the claims `maa vooriki randi' campaign where the villagers were promising to provide all facilities to teachers, he suggested the villagers at least actively participate in development of existing primary schools by providing shelter to their wards.

The DPEP was providing Rs 2,000 per year to each school under school grant and Rs 500 per annum was being provided to teacher for the teaching and learning material (TLM), he said and urged the Government to provide at least the same amount to single school teachers so that the schools would be developed with all facilities and achieve the goal of `Education for all'.

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