HYDERABAD: Nearly 12,000 government primary schools in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are facing the threat of closure from the next academic year, thanks to poor enrolment.
According to a report tabled by the Telangana government in the state Assembly, of the 18,139 primary schools across the state, as many as 405 schools had no students during 2015-16. Another 991 schools had less than 10 students and as many as 2,376 schools had less than 20 students.
In Andhra, there are 5,639 primary schools that had less than 20 students. “Andhra wants to close 2,300 schools by merging them with upper primary schools. Taking them into consideration, the total number of schools which are facing the threat of closure in both the states comes to around 12,000,” United Teachers’ Federation leader Nagati Narayana said.
SC division bench hearing a PIL filed by Telangana Parents Federation and had sought a report from the state explaining the reasons for the poor enrolment. The state, in its report submitted on April 12, 2016 in this regard.
Some reasons cited by the state are: shrinking of habitations due to migration of people in search of livelihood, shifting of students from government to private schools even in rural areas due to craze among parents for English medium education and lack of transportation facility. It said running such schools with poor strength is not economically viable for the government and the department is unable to provide teachers for them.
“Most government schools in rural areas do not have proper facilities such as drinking water, toilets etc. Also, most schools have only one ortwoteachers. Thereis alsono one to monitor their performance,” Narayana said. A SC-appointed panel visited a few schools in Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts and found that parents don’t want to send their children to government schools due to the lack of proper facilities.