Education is the main tool for the development of human resource. If the education field improves in a better way its reflection could be seen in human resource development.
India is considered to be the biggest democracy in the world and this right of the citizen helped Telangana citizen struggle for separate state on the grounds of social justice and achieved it in 2014 after a long struggle. After the formation of 29th state of India, there are a few challenges to the government. Education is an important sector on which the government has to focus a lot. But the new state and the new government have their own interests.
Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), Telangana zone, after analyzing the debates pertaining to the ups and downs of educational sphere by the public representatives that take place in the Assembly is persevering to place it before the government and the general public, as it has done academic work on New Education policy 2015, recommendations to GOI and discussions on education in Parliament, and it is now focusing on educational status of state. The main objective of these reports is to explore the quality of the questions raised and how successful they are in trying to discuss the core of the problem.
Telangana has multiple institutes of higher education universities along with numerous primary and secondary schools. The state is home to a number of institutes, which impart higher education. The Department of Higher Education deals with matters relating to education at various levels in the state of Telangana. The literacy rate of the state as per 2011 census is 66.54%. Male literacy and female literacy are 75.04% and 57.99%, respectively. Hyderabad district is highest with 83.25% and Mahabubnagar district is lowest with 55.04%. Urban area literacy reaches 81.09% and rural 57.30% on the whole, along with Rangareddy 75.87%, Medak 61.42%, Nizambad 61.25%, Adilabad 61.01%, Kareemnagar 64.15%, Warangal 65.11%, Khammam 65.75% and Nalgonda 64.20%. The statistical numbers are good to see and hear but on the other side of coin, we can see the dropout rates. According to statistical data of 2013-14, district-wise it is the highest in Mahbubnagar at 53.21%, Rangareddy at 26.02% which is lowest, then Hyderabad 34.81%, Medak 47.28%, Nizambad 32.05%, Adilabad 42.12%, Karimnagar 28.42%, Warangal 43.03%, Khammam 28.1% and Nalgonda 42.22%. The overall dropout rate in the state is 38.21% among the students who are studying from I to X standards.
During 2015-16, Rs.138.92 crore was allocated under state plan while Rs.271.49 crore was allocated under non-plan budget for expenditure under this scheme. It consists of 212 hostels (157 for Boys and 55 for Girls) with a total strength of 40763 boarders, 283 ashram schools (187 for Boys and 96 for girls) functioning in the tribal concentrated areas providing schooling and hostel facility to 85843 children and 70 residential schools for minority students during this academic year 2016-17. Apart from this, education sector consists of following schemes- FAST (Financial assistance for students of Telangana), Pre-Matric Scholarships, Quality Education for STs, Upgrading TW Ashram Schools into Schools of Excellence, Residential Schools for Tribals, Upgradation of Residential Schools into Junior Colleges of Education and similarly many more.
According to statistical data of 2013-14, district-wise it is the highest in Mahbubnagar at 53.21%, Rangareddy at 26.02% which is lowest, then Hyderabad 34.81%, Medak 47.28%, Nizambad 32.05%, Adilabad 42.12%, Karimnagar 28.42%, Warangal 43.03%, Khammam 28.1% and Nalgonda 42.22%.
In Telangana, there were 43,293 schools functioning under various managements in 2013-14. The students enrolled during the year were 61.68 lakh and the teachers deployed were 2.35 lakh, but there are few schools where there is a single teacher who teaches five classes. There are 3007 junior colleges in the state in which 4,15,026 students were enrolled, along with 26,333 lecturers, during 2013-14. Similarly, there are 171 degree colleges with an enrolment of 1,47,564 students and 4,211 lecturers. In the field of engineering there are 350 colleges with different departments with a total intake of 1,17,679 students, and 195 polytechnic colleges are functioning with strength of 45,250 students during 2013-14.
The RTE act is the most substantive declaration of the Government’s commitment towards the education. But the Act has several shortcomings. There are several critical gaps which have damaged the spirit of the act. Even after five years have passed since the enactment of Right to Education Act, Government is merely emphasizing the 25% free seats. In last three years Government has sent around 20, 00000 students to private schools by paying their school fee. This is Government-sponsored privatization.
Implementation of other aspects of the Act and awareness among the public is essential. Whether the values enshrined in the Constitution is included the training of teachers and in the text and teaching pattern, whether the learning ability and skills among children is really being boosted, whether learning is developed in child-friendly and child-oriented modes, and the growth of physical and mental abilities among children should have been discussed when the Right to Education was being debated.
The literacy rate of 66.46% in Telangana shows there is need for greater concentration of government on education sector. Even there is need of re-thinking the slogan given by TRS government pre-election regarding “Free KG to PG” education which will change the fate of many downtrodden communities if they really work on it sincerely. The discussion in Assembly in last three years on education clearly shows how sincere the government is..!
Downfall of educational standards including negligence towards education in mother tongue, minority educational institutions and intake of madrasa students in state universities are some of challenging issues before the state. Also government policies are not focused on grassroots issues. More than half the population of our nation comprises students and the policies made are very choosy, giving benefits to few.