Amaravati: Government schools in Andhra Pradesh are all set to get a facelift with the State government on Thursday launching a new programme to revamp them by providing better infrastructure and amenities at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.
Under the scheme ‘Mana Badi Nadu Nedu’ (our school then and now), 45,000 government-run schools will undergo a complete makeover in the next three years, bringing them on par with or even better than the ones in private and corporate sectors.
The programme, launched by Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy at Ongole on Children’s Day, gives a pictorial view of schools showing how they look now and how they will look after implementing the scheme, taking nine parameters into consideration – provision of lights, fans, blackboards, furniture and compound wall, construction of toilets, repairs and painting of classrooms, providing safe drinking water and provision for English labs.
The first phase will cover 15,715 government schools for a period of one year, at a cost of Rs 3,500 crores.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government claims that school reforms on such a scale and magnitude is perhaps unprecedented in the country.
This programme in addition to upgrading teaching and learning skills, introducing English as the medium of instruction from class 1 to 6 with Telugu or Urdu as a compulsory subject, improving quality of mid-day meals, supply of textbooks, uniforms and shoes to the students on time and maintaining teacher-student ratio is expected to transform the education sector.
The government has also formed a committee to monitor the functioning of private schools.
Jaganmohan Reddy said despite the criticism from detractors, the government would go ahead with English medium schools to prepare the students to face the requirements of the technology-driven world. “We should not be found wanting and feel guilty if the generation next cannot be prepared to face the highly dynamic and technology-driven world,” he said.
He said those opposing introduction of English medium should introspect if they are sending their children and grandchildren to government schools or to English medium schools. “This shows that they do not practice what they preach. Weaker sections and underprivileged should not be deprived of opportunities and we are providing them with such programmes.”
He said the government would launch ‘Amma Vodi’ on January 9. Under this scheme, the government will incentivise mothers to send their children to schools and Intermediate (10+2).