Updated: March 3, 2022 4:13:00 pm
Noting that government schools are in a bad shape in Telangana, Social Democratic Forum (SDF), a Hyderabad-based think tank, has written to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to increase budget allocations for the education sector from 5.8 per cent last year to 20 per cent from 2022-23 onwards and allocate funds for infrastructure development in schools.
The chief minister, meanwhile, is set to inaugurate a flagship programme ‘Mana Vooru, Mana Badi’ (our village, our school) on March 8 which aims to provide basic infrastructure in the schools at a cost of Rs 7,289.54 crore in three phases in three years.
Members of the SDF, comprising retired IAS officers, professors, academicians, doctors, activists, and advocates, visited several schools and other education institutions before writing to the chief minister. “Specifically, an amount of Rs 10,000 crore should be allocated during the financial year 2022-23 for infrastructure development in government schools and Rs 2,000 crore for other educational institutions, including junior colleges, degree colleges, PG colleges, polytechnic colleges and universities,’’ the SDF said.
The SDF said that government schools lacked basic infrastructure and required urgent attention. “We wish to bring to your notice, the plight of children, their education and schools due to the lockdown and after. It is also a neglected area by various governments for decades. Insufficient teachers, insufficient classrooms, non-monitoring of teachers, lacking basic amenities like functional/hygienic toilets with running water, no good blackboards, bad or no furniture, no compound walls, no painting, lacking timely repairs creating etc are affecting the learning environment,’’ the organisation, headed by K Madhava Rao, former chief secretary of united Andhra Pradesh, said in its letter.
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The SDF said in the letter that due to the shoddy quality of education, the poor are forcing their children into child labour and chid marriage. There is an “education emergency” in Telangana schools, the letter said.
“If the apathy continues, one generation of the Telangana society will lose the opportunity to have a decent and dignified life. We feel the tentative budget required to improve the infrastructure of the institutions comes around to Rs 23,718 crore,” the letter stated.
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