Despite the speedy developments in all sectors Telangana is taking back seat in education. Reason- the rigid policy not to adopt any progressive system in education domain. This policy makes the education system on destructive mode.

It is an undisputed fact that Information Technology and Pharmaceutical industries, both powered by intellectual capital, put Hyderabad on the global map. The fact that Hyderabad hosts almost all global IT majors and is home to not one or two, but three pharmaceutical companies producing vaccines for Covid-19 stands as testimony to the kind of knowledge-economy the city has become.

The world today acknowledges that future global economic growth will be driven primarily by knowledge and intellectual capital. As developing countries aggressively address their infrastructure deficit, knowledge and intellectual capital have become the new drivers for attracting global capital and hence growth. In this new economy, nothing is more important than education – the building block of intellectual capital.

It is in this context that the apathy shown by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti government toward education comes as a total shock. It is unbelievable that Telangana ranked last among states in almost all parameters in the National Achievement Survey-2021. In the survey of students drawn from Classes 3-10, Telangana is lagging behind every State in the country. The performance of our students is well below the national average.

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The reasons for this disaster are part of a deeper malaise. Even as the beginning of the new academic year brought cheers among students and teachers, a plethora of problems awaited them from day one, including lack of basic facilities, poor  infrastructure, dearth of teachers, non-availability of textbooks, and lack of nutritious mid-day meals. On top of it, the state government’s decision to introduce English medium for students of Classes 1 to 8, without first imparting proficiency to the teachers in the new medium, is agitating both students and teachers.

Although the new academic year has begun, the government is yet to supply even textbooks and uniforms. The other basic need, especially for the economically  underprivileged students, is the mid-day meal at school. The Education Department claims that it feeds 22,54,480 students in 28,963 schools. But the quality of food served has been an issue for years.

Reacting to news reports on broken rice and watered-down daal, the High Court issued notices to the state government seeking reasons for paltry budgetary allocations to the scheme. The state government, which doles out Rs 18 as subsidy for each Rs 5 meal served under the Annapurna scheme, pays just Rs 4.97 and Rs 7.45 per meal for primary and upper primary students respectively. The salient feature of this academic year is the introduction of English medium from Classes 1 to 8 in all government and local bodies’ schools.

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The government boasts that a total of 1.04 lakh teachers were given training in English teaching. If English can be mastered to the levels of teaching with four days of offline instruction and four Zoom meetings, wouldn’t students too be able to master the language with a couple of weeks of training? The government committed a blunder by launching English medium in schools without adequately qualified teachers.

The issues confronted by Intermediate and technical education are also equally bad. Higher education too is in a big mess. The government took its sweet time for appointing Vice-Chancellors, but they are unable to handle issues due to lack of funds as well as scarcity of teaching and non-teaching staff.

The agitation by IIIT Basara students for basic facilities, enough teachers, edible food, and working doors on toilets, among others, points to the pathetic conditions in our institutions deemed premier. The students’ cry for help is brushed off as “silly demands” by the state’s Education Minister. Instead, the police are used to silence agitating students. Is it a crime to request the powers-that-be for laptops, better facilities, and required teachers? Instead of visiting the place to pacify the aggrieved students, Ministers are taking to social media platforms to blurt out nonsense.

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The neglect of education is mirrored by the steady decline in the state’s budgetary allocation for the sector since 2014. While the share of Education in the state’s 2014-15 Budget was 10.89 per cent, it was a mere 6.24 per cent for 2022-23. The neglect, nay, the utter disregard shown towards Education is so in-your -face that the government does not even bother to pay its teachers on time.

The state government, going by its highly irresponsible attitude, is determined to destroy public-funded education for obvious reasons. Government schools and social welfare hostels have all along produced high-quality manpower, apart from writers, and intellectuals; yet, the TRS government is bent upon putting an end to it. People of the state should teach this government a lesson in the next elections for the sake of the present and future generations. #KhabarLive #hydnews