Allocate 20% to education, expand infrastructure in schools: think tank urges Telangana government

Noting that public schools are in poor condition in Telangana, the Social Democratic Forum (SDF), a Hyderabad-based think tank, wrote to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to increase budget allocations for the education sector by 5.8% last year to 20 percent from 2022-23 and allocate funds for infrastructure development in schools.

The Chief Minister, meanwhile, is set to inaugurate a flagship ‘Mana Vooru, Mana Badi’ (Our Village, Our School) program on March 8 which aims to provide basic infrastructure in schools at a cost of Rs 7,289.54 crore in three phases in three years.

Members of the SDF, including retired IAS officers, teachers, academics, doctors, activists and advocates, visited several schools and other educational establishments before writing to the Chief Minister. “Specifically, an amount of Rs 10,000 crore is expected to be allocated in the financial year 2022-2023 for infrastructure development in public schools and Rs 2,000 crore for other educational institutions including colleges juniors, university colleges, PG colleges, polytechnic colleges and universities,” the SDF said.

The SDF said public schools lacked basic infrastructure and needed urgent attention. “We want to bring to your attention the fate of the children, their education and their schools due to the confinement and after. It is also an area neglected by various governments for decades. Insufficient teachers, insufficient classrooms, non-supervision of teachers, lack of basic amenities like working/hygienic toilets with running water, no good blackboards, bad or no furniture, no compound walls, no paint , lack of timely repairs, etc. affect the learning environment,’ the organization, headed by K Madhava Rao, former chief secretary of united Andhra Pradesh, said in its letter.

The SDF said in the letter that due to the poor quality of education, the poor are forcing their children to work and marry. There is an “educational emergency” in schools in Telangana, the letter says.

“If apathy persists, a generation of Telangana society will lose the opportunity to have a decent and dignified life. We estimate that the provisional budget required to improve the infrastructure of the institutions is Rs 23,718 Crore,” the letter states.

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