Government schools in state underperforming, says survey

How serious is the state government about implementing the Right to Education Act? Are social sector programmes producing the desired result? The Annual Status of Education Report by the NGO Pratham indicates that government schools in Andhra Pradesh are underperforming in many ways.
The survey conducted in every district of Andhra Pradesh indicates that 43 per cent of schools with enrolment of 61 to 90 students have less than three teachers. The RTE requires a school with 61 to 90 students to have at least three teachers.
Under RTE, there should be one classroom for every teacher, but in AP, 73.2 per cent of the schools with more than or equal to seven teachers are below norms.
Asked about this obvious lack of infrastructure government officials say they are hoping that the additional funding will take care of the situation.
“Infrastructure should not be a problem. The government has allocated additional `4,400 crore under the sarva siksha abhiyan scheme, so the improvement should fall in place in the next two years,” said an official in the department of school education.
Given the alacrity with which funds disappear into anything but the projects for which they are meant, this does not inspire much confidence.
President of Andhra Pradesh Balala Hakkula Sangham, Mr Achyuta Rao, said that 53 per cent of schools with less than 60 students have only one teacher.
If the teacher goes on leave, the school will not function. Such issues need to be addressed first by the government.

A study of 900 schools in 15 districts released by Aser Centre last week followed 30,000 Class 2 and Class 4 students over 15 months. The results show that children learned modest amounts during this time, but most remained at least two grade levels behind where they should be, including in the best performing states.-Hindustan Times

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