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Andhra Pradesh cites quality, starts taking over aided schools and colleges

The process of attaching grant-in-aid institutions and their staff was started on Monday by the Commissioner of Collegiate Education and Director of School Education.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
Updated: September 29, 2021 7:44:05 am
andhra pradesh aided govertment schoolsA renovated government school in Andhra. (Express photo)

It is the end of the road for government-aided private educational institutions in Andhra Pradesh. More than 90 per cent of aided degree colleges have been taken over by the state, and will now be run as government institutions.

The process of attaching grant-in-aid institutions and their staff was started on Monday by the Commissioner of Collegiate Education and Director of School Education.

Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said employees hired on contract by the grant-in-aid institutions would be redeployed and absorbed in colleges and schools where they were required.

Suresh told The Indian Express that the government had given three options to these institutions: voluntarily withdraw from grant-in-aid benefits; hand over their assets to the government; or run the institutions as private bodies.

A good number of institutions have given up their grant-in-aid status and handed over their staff, while a few have agreed to give up their assets as well, the minister said. Institutions that do not accept any of these options will lose their recognition.

“The government’s intention is to provide quality education to students without their families being burdened. Although welfare schemes such as Amma Vodi, Vidya Deevena, and Vasati Deevena are being provided even to those studying in grant-in-aid institutions, enrollment has not increased. Many are taking government benefits but are not maintaining good standards of teaching,’’ Suresh said.

The committee set up by the government had recommended taking over all grant-in-aid educational institutions. Of the 133 degree colleges, 125 — almost 93 per cent — have so far surrendered their grant-in-aid status, and assigned staff to the government, officials said. At least seven institutions have agreed to hand over their assets to the government as well.

Similarly, 103 out of 122 junior colleges — 84 per cent — have given up their grant-in-aid status; five have voluntarily given their assets to the government along with their staff.

And 1,276 grant-in-aid schools have agreed to give up their status; 100 will give their assets to the government. The education department will run them as government schools, and none of them will be shut, the minister assured.

Suresh said the problems of teachers hired on contract were being considered as well, and the government would take steps to secure their jobs. A committee had been set up to study the possibilities, and contracted teachers need not worry because the government was committed to strengthening these institutions, he said.

Several academics and teachers, however, feel that the government is taking away their option to choose between government and private schools and colleges.

“Government-aided private educational institutions have a good name and recognition; many of them are quite reputed. Parents and teachers are disappointed that this option is being taken away. Government can stop grants to institutions that are purely for profiteering, but allow the reputed ones that maintain good standards,’’ Member of Legislative Council from the teachers’ constituency K Narasimha Reddy said.

Mohammed Nazir of the AP Private Teachers’ Association said that despite the government’s assurances, hundreds of teachers may lose their jobs.

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