September 23, 2021 9:21:51 am
The Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to take over all government-aided private educational institutions in the state, education minister Audimulapu Suresh told The Indian Express.
Explaining the decision, Suresh said that the quality of education in government-run institutions is at par with private ones and hence there was no need for aided-private establishments any longer. He added that they will either shut them down and redeploy the staff to other government institutions, or the state will run them if there are enough students.
“Government-aided private educational institutions are a big scam. It is a waste of money and the purpose for which they were allowed to be established isn’t being served. Some schools and colleges have recruited incompetent teaching staff just to keep them running and receive government funds. A class of just 20 students has a teacher, lecturer, and a professor which is underutilisation of teaching resources. We are putting an end to this. We aim to set a benchmark for the country when it comes to running and managing government educational institutions,” Suresh said.
The principal secretary (school education) B Rajasekhar said the government would take over the management and assets of these institutions without paying any compensation once the existing managements give an undertaking in writing their assent.
Officials said that after the 15,575 government schools were renovated and repaired as part of a state scheme, enrolment has significantly gone up. It aims to renovate and repair over 45,000 government education institutions in three phases. Apart from this, those studying in government schools have been given school kits comprising cloth for three pairs of uniforms, one pair of black shoes, two pairs of socks, prescribed text books, notebooks, a belt and a school bag.
“On the other hand, most of the aided private education institutions are in a bad shape. Despite taking money from the government, the management is unwilling to create better facilities for students, like separate toilets, drinking water outlets etc,” an official said. The state government extends over Rs 500 crore as grants to the aided education institutions apart from spending on mid-day meal schemes and fees reimbursement for eligible students.
The education department has already informed 150 degree colleges, 122 junior colleges and over 2,500 schools that receive government aid that they will be taken over.
“About 95 per cent of the colleges and almost all schools have agreed. The few that have not got on-board yet may approach the court. However, we are determined that all aided institutions will be closed or run by the government, and their teaching and non-teaching staff would be deployed as per requirement elsewhere,” Suresh informed. Officials said that over 5,000 teachers, lecturers, professors, and non-teaching staff are working at these aided colleges.
A committee set up by the education department to examine aided educational institutions found that there were primary schools with less than 40 students, and high schools with less than 75 students. Some junior colleges had just 20 students. Several were given land by the government to build more classrooms or create facilities but they did not.
A few colleges, like the AVN College which is over 150 years old, and Dr L Bullayya college in Visakhapatnam, have refused to give in to the government’s demand and said that they will manage on their own without the government’s aid.
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