Andhra Pradesh struggles to attract children to the government schools

Image courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

“Are your children studying in government schools?” parents asked government teachers in Venkatachalam, Andhra Pradesh, when the teachers went door-to-door campaigning to attract pupils to the state-run primary and high schools.

Andhra Pradesh initiated a campaign programme called ‘Mana Vooru Mana Badi’ (Our Native Place, Our School) to reverse the meagre attendance of students in its schools by convincing the parents and the guardians.

But the teachers were stumped when the parents put forth a valid argument. Majority of the government teachers themselves have admitted their children to private English medium schools instead of the government schools they teach at.

The teachers tried to convince the parents that the government schools have infrastructure on par with private English medium schools and has introduced teaching English from the first standard itself.

An irritated father said, “At least, next academic year, you come with a proof of admission receipt for your wards in government-run schools, then we will think of taking admission in your schools for our children.”

To increase the number of students in government schools the Andhra Pradesh government is offering freebies like midday meals and uniforms. But media reports suggest that parents are hesitant to admit their children to these schools doubting the quality of education.

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