August 17, 2021 4:05:18 am
The Andhra Pradesh government on Monday reopened schools for the first time since educational institutes were shut in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Keeping its promises made in the interim, the state changed the medium of instruction of all government schools to English, and provided students with bilingual textbooks, dictionaries and uniforms.
Of the 45,000-odd government schools, the infrastructure of 15,715 has been revamped, including separate toilets for girls and boys with running water, drinking water outlets, tubelights, fans and furniture in all classes, an English learning lab and a compound wall.
This revamp of infrastructure, which cost Rs 3,699 crore, was part of the first phase of a government scheme. In the second phase, launched on Monday, 16,368 government schools will be renovated at a cost of Rs 4,535 crore.
State Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said on Monday — the first day of the 2021-22 academic year — 42,32,064 students were provided with school kits comprising three pairs of uniforms, an Oxford English to Telugu dictionary, one pair of shoes, two pairs of socks, bilingual textbooks, notebooks, a belt and a school bag at a cost of Rs 731 crore.
“With the kit, the students are ready to go to school without any concerns. Parents also need not worry about expenses. By providing textbooks on the first day of the academic year, we are doing away with erratic and non-supply of books faced by students earlier. The school kits prepare the students for the new academic year,” he said.
Officials said the revamped government schools are drawing more students, and many are shifting from private schools too. For example, the 51-year-old Singamsetti Prabhavathi Zilla Parishad high school at P Gannavaram in East Godavari district, which received a makeover costing around Rs 66 lakh, increased its student strength from 683 to 778.
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