Andhra’s dark schools

By T S Sudhir

Andhra Pradesh has 46300 government schools. Only 7300 of them … which means 15 per cent … have power supply. Some 6000 have had their power supply disconnected for many months, some even years for non-payment of dues. The school where we shot at, in Hyderabad, close to the old Begumpet airport, lost its connection in 2008.

Which means some 33000 schools were constructed and opened without a care that a basic amenity like power supply is also essential for school students and teachers.

And when such schools register high drop out rates and low pass percentage, teachers are held responsible. The school in Rasoolpura in Hyderabad is located in a dingy shanty, with the path leading to it extremely difficult to negotiate in the monsoon. Mosquitoes have a heyday.

If corporal punishment is a crime, isn’t this a crime too?

Fortunately, the Right to Education Act has come as a saviour. Watch this story …

(video of my story aired on NDTV 24×7)


About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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2 Responses to Andhra’s dark schools

  1. wise donkey says:

    yes this is a crime too, and why on earth should teachers be held responsible for high drop out rates.

  2. Serenity Stupidity says:

    Hi Tss,

    First, I am so glad, that you have taken forward your observations about education in our state, from “All work and no play” to this post.( Other than “spare the rod” )

    So, please allow me to share my experience about this post, in detail….
    For, this report, most unexpectedly, like an electric spark, gave me wondrous joy by its end;

    I mean, when the report started with “shocking revelation” , after having read about dingy shanty locations, and the mosquitoes, I was preparing myself for the sadness awaiting, may be not as much as the chattisgarh schools brought down by Naxals, but still…

    Of course, a reference to Right to Education Act coming as a saviour, did surprise me a bit and i went into the report wondering what it is all about….

    After completing the viewing, I went back to hear 2 times, the phrase “survey conducted by Education dept” , just to believe, that it was the Education Dept that indeed went ahead and bothered about a survey like this. It might be overt cynicism; but that is what I felt, and yes, the fact that 33,000 schools had no power, did not shock me; I just took in the lump in the throat I had….

    Reference to reputation of the state being high tech, felt really good, as you were pointing out, with whatever power you have as a journalist, about this sad powerlessness of government schools….

    But then came the rare rainbow of delight, rather than some more expected bad news…..the fact that Right to Education Act insists about use of Audio-Visual does ? Wow ! I dint know ! It feels so good, really, if the rule is there, I am sure implementations will sprout up, even if at snail pace….

    And, before I could sigh about how could we imagine about such tools, when even power is proving a mirage, I heard the surprising bit about the education and power dept’s trying to fix….and then the pause between requirement of 22.4 crores, and the “education dept coming forward to do it” seemed like an era…huh, how slowly was the AP transco boss talking ! But he did say that, and I felt “Oooooh” 🙂 Yeahhh !

    And “exercise” and “light at the end”, seemed so apt and delicious ! Some good news to celebrate ! Am so happy, can’t stop… responding this way !

    By the end of the multiple views and excitement, I had almost forgot about the question of teachers being held responsible…..No way ! this time, at least for once, I am all for the government teachers, yes they need all support against such responsibility !

    I wonder how you feel about this much of joy and excitement….

    But, the thing is, since some past years, I have realized about how development, is not just welfare schemes, subsidies and governmental and social contributions ( monetary and otherwise) and sympathy and empathy , but really it has to be, Empowerment of various sections of the society in various way. Such support, which would enable them to develop and become self sufficient too.

    At least six decades after Independence, with so much of economy driving ahead and taxes getting collected, such empowerment has to be more of a rule, than exceptions.

    And what more important, than enabling teachers and students, an environment for nurturing a bright new generation ?

    Is that too much to expect ? Is this coming forward by the education dept, a pity, or a right , a fundamental right ?

    As a powerless ordinary citizen, I felt, that if I cannot do anything for government schools and the kids there, or their mid-day meals, I can have some joy, and share it too.

    Thanks for this report. I will remember, to be more empathetic towards government teachers.

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