They are giving life to closed schools, bringing back the old grandeur of those shut down government schools. With the initiatives of local villagers and help of donors, these schools are getting better day by day.
Colorful campaign flyers, multi-storeyed buildings, children in uniform attires of tie, belt, shoes, school buses – this is the general picture of corporate private schools. On the other hand, we find morose government schools – schools with no teachers; if there are teachers, no proper building; when school has both building and teachers, parents not willing to send their children to these schools, due to poor standards. If someone comes forward and admits their children in these schools, they are struck with a doubt whether their children would finally get some decent education or not. Parents were full of anxiety that their children might fall behind in the race with the English medium students. Bearing this financial burden, many parents ending up sending their children to private schools, thus resulting perilous for government schools.
In these kind of depressed situations, some schools are generating hopes. With the cooperation of peoples’ representatives and active participation of local villagers, few government schools are heading towards their old grandeur. Closed schools are being reopened. With little support, government schools are proving themselves to stand up against the campaign of private, corporate schools. Eenadu correspondent witnessed this change of environment in several districts of Telengana during his tour across the state.
Majority of parents send their children to private schools believing that children will get good education only in private schools with English medium. To meet the expensive tuition fee, transportation and other fees in these schools, parents relying on loans from outside. Finally, these things leading to closure of government schools due to insufficient number of students. This pathetic situations slowly forced parents to rethink on why not to support available government village schools, instead of spending most of the earning on private schools. This consciousness was quite visible more in villages away from towns and urban cities.
Eenadu daily correspondent during his tour of Karimnagar and Jagityala districts witnessed this awareness and efforts of villagers and local representatives to protecting and reviving government schools in their villages. Such incidents were also came into light from districts of Warangal, Khammam, Rangareddy etc.
What are they doing?
- Re-opening of schools that were shut down for last several years
- Discussing with parents who send their children to private schools and explaining to them about schools.
- Started teaching in English medium
- Restored elementary grade classes, children of 3 years and above are being admitted into LKG.
- Arranging transportation services through auto-rickshaws and minivans for children coming from nearby villages
The classroom studies ends by 4pm, but teachers are engaging children for additional hour with sports and cultural activities. By this, students reaching their homes , just after their parents return from work in farms and other places.
Seeking donations from locals and well settled village families living away or in abroad, for chairs, desks, projectors to enable digital teaching methods, English medium textbooks, toys etc. They are also taking help from these donors to setup drinking water, build water tanks, taps.
Government appoints staff based on the number of children in school. To avoid the shortage of teacher’s villagers also hired some volunteers and meeting their expenses through personal donations.
They are asking parents to take a pledge of not to send their kids to private schools and prefer to government schools. With these actions, govt teachers are too willing to imparting quality education.
Nirmala Primary School, of Devaruppala mandal in Janagama district, was about to be closed due to enrolment of 28 students only. Sensing the danger village sarpanch Edama Indira Narasimha Reddy along with teachers visited every family and convinced parents and began English medium classes. In addition to existing two teachers, villagers have also arranged two more education volunteers at the cost of Rs.3,500/- per month. They have appointed maids and helpers as well.
Singarajupally Primary school was running with only 18 students and it was also in similar straits. Sarpanch Yadagiri and others visited the then exemplary elementary school running at Ontimmidipally village of Ainavolu mandal and thought to revive their government school with the money they are spending on private schools. As a result all 45 students of the village joined English medium government school in their village itself. Two more volunteers were added and their salary expenses were taken care by parents.
This picture with children in uniform dress, ties and shoes is of the government school of Ontimamidipally village of Ainavolu mandal of urban Warangal district. This school was shutdown 6 years back because of no students to attend it. With the inspiration from Ralegaon village of Anna Hazare, villagers have contributed their hand from every home and together took up development activities of the school. With their personal donations, they have employed education volunteers and as a result, the school is flourishing now with 370 students.
Education with all Facilities
High school of Kambalapally village of Mahaboobabad district has been remade into a look-alike of a corporate school. Dr. Kalvakoori Chandrasekhar donated water purifying plant. Former student, Dr. Venkataramulu gifted modern digital projector. Another old student, late film music director, Chakri presented a micro projector. Just like private corporate schools, children of this school too come in school uniform, tie, belt and shoes. Mostly they were arranged by donors. Now every classroom is furnished with fans and sitting desks.
Bonakallu Primary School of Khammam district has strength of over 200 students. Computer education is being imparted here. Starting from this year, the medium of education has become English. Village sarpanch, Chava Venkateswara Rao personally sponsoring 6 months’ salary of recently hired volunteer. Villagers too came forward and contributing Rs. 3,000/- towards two more volunteers. Former students association president, Dr. Gongoora Venkateswarlu along with other donors have spent Rs. 2 lakhs and built a cultural auditorium for the school. Over the past three years, villagers donated more than Rs.1 lakh for the school anniversary program.
The High school of Narayanpur in Gangadharam mandal of Karimnagar district was closed in 2011. MPTC member Baavu Mallesam, with the inspiration from former sarpanch Mallareddy, convinced villagers and they collectively spent over Rs. 40,000 to clean up the surroundings of the school. By this, the school got reopened in last year. Now, there are over 90 students from pre-elementary to 5th grade. They arranged auto-rickshaw for transportation of children from nearby villages. The transportation charges are being borne by parents.
Digital teaching classes started 2 years ago in Nancharla of Pegadapally mandal of Jagityala district. Former students donated a projector to the school. Students started watching stories and other sports along with regular school curriculum. Locals of nearby villages Dheekonda, Ramulaplly where schools were shut down were also convinced to send their children. They arranged auto-rickshaws for children. Now school is running with 275 students, compared to last year strength of 92. All classes are taught in English medium. NRI Siddhinki Tirupati donated baby chairs for students.
40 to 200
In 2016, there were only 40 students in Charla Patel Guda Elementary school of Ibraheempatnam mandal of Rangareddy district. Sarpanch Ganesh and villagers decided to send their children to local school only. As a result strength of the school increased to 205. As there were only 4 teachers, they employed 6 more education volunteers. Their wages are being borne by sarpanch,cooperative society chairman Hanumanta Reddy and members of the school welfare committee. They have also setup library, drinking water facilities and desks with their own funding.