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DEPARTMENT NO. 4:-

EDUCATION  IN AP

An unprecedented silent revolution is being rolled out in Andhra Pradesh to infuse quality education in the present academic system in the state from the grass root level.

The state government led by dynamic chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has plans to introduce quality education methods and institutions all over the state with an investment of Rs.30,000  crore  in the next  six years

The state has earned yet another niche globally in its quality education programs. It is a matter of pride that AP has been ranked No-1 in the 5th joint review mission of the World Bank for the Technical education quality improvement program (TEQIP).

For the first time in the country Andhra Pradesh has pioneered the promotion of EBC (economically backward classes) irrespective of caste and creed with scholarships.  In the current budget for 20078-09 a sum of Rs.25 crore is provided for catering to this sector.

 In the current budget the allocation for BC and Minorities has been increased to Rs.423 crore (as against Rs.287 crores of previous year). Similarly the tuition fee reimbursement allocations have also been increased from Rs.50 to Rs.185 crore for all sections of the society.

The Y S Rajasekhara Reddy Government has taken care to increase the diet charges of  students  of  3-7 Std  by  40 percent and by 30 percent  for those  in 8-10 Std  besides four pairs of uniforms.

A hostel for college going BC girls in each assembly constituency is also provided a fund of Rs.20 crore in the current budget.

The state government has also plans to introduce the mid-day meal in schools upto 10th standard with an allocation of Rs.853 crore.

A sum of Rs. 250 crore has been earmarked for revamping of selected high schools with full-fledged infrastructure under a new scheme called SUCCESS (Scheme for universal access and quality at secondary stage). GOI contributed Rs.750 crore for the project.

For the purpose of providing  computer education  the Government has selected  5000 schools in AP  with a provision of Rs.60 crore in the current budget  to  give  computer  education to  63000 students .

For improving the quality of education and infrastructural facilities in 636 residential schools in government sector a project with an outlay of R.5350 crore is taken up for which Rs.400 crore is provided in the current budget.

The allocation for the school education department has been increased to Rs.8655 crore from the present Rs.6181 crore, a 40 percent increase.

The state Government proposes to set up three more universities each at Srikakulam, Mahbubnagar and Kurnool next year with a budget of Rs.15 crore.  Four new universities were set up in 2007 at Rajahmundry, Kadapa, Nizamabad and Nalgonda.

The state government has initiated finishing schools in three universities with two courses – Financial services and Medical transcription to provide the rural students the cutting edge over their counter parts in cities.

In the same exercise the Government has set up three new Indian Institute of Information Technologies (IIIT) - each at Idupulapaya (Kadpa), Basara (Adilabad) and Nuziveedu (Krishna) district with an allocation of Rs. 320 crore in the current years budget.

After the successful Self Help model in empowering women (Self Help Groups) the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government has made bold and comprehensive move to involve the corporate houses in the PPP model to improve the standard of education.

Titled as the “Public partnership in Progress” the state government is all set to sign MoU’s with one hundred odd big companies to run residential corporate schools in rural areas to benefit moffusil students with quality education.

The new Rural Public Schools in the state will provide English medium education on CBSE syllabus and groom students from the VIth to Xth standard. All that the government provided was free land and a share in the recurring expenses annually.

“What is more is that these institutions built and equipped on corporate model will provide free education to the hand picked children from the region at the government cost “, says the chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who visualized the scheme.

The brain child of the chief minister the scheme was aimed at bridging the great urban and rural divide in the present education system which drove thousands of families from villages to cities and towns in pursuit of education of their children.

“The objective is to provide on hand –holding education to the students from rural areas, a sort of backward integration to find right kind of entrants into the institutions of higher education and add to the man power pool required in the new economy businesses“ says the chief minister.

Such schools are being proposed in each of 250 odd rural assembly segments of the state and the admissions for which will be made through a common entry examinations. “The 75 % of the seats will be filled up as free seats to be sponsored by the state government while the remaining 25 per cents were fee-based eats in the management quota” says Dr.C.B.S.Venkaramana, State Education Secretary.

While the corporate bodies spend Rs.12 crore towards infrastructure in the prescribed format set by the government the state administration met 50 percent of the recurring cost per annum in the form of sponsoring free education to the rural student’s. “The scheme provided for quality education for the rural students in their place of livelihood and environment”, says the school education minister D. Raja Narasimha. The drive to provide quality education in village environment has already

been successfully experimented in some districts, including the chief minister’s native district of Kadapa.

The concept school initiative is among several other programs launched by the three and half year’s old congress rule led by dynamic chief minister Dr.Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy.

While the TDP regime promoted privatization of education, the YS government brought the higher education back within the reach of the common man by promoting decentralization and setting up six more universities.

Three Universities–Telengana University at Nizamabad, Nannaya University at Rajahmundry and Yogi Vemana University at Kadapa have started functioning. One more university from Nalgonda district to cater to be needs of the students of the South Telengana region has also begun to function from the current year.

Hyderabad is already the chosen location for BITS campus besides that of Aga Khan World Institute. The prestigious IIT project is also emerging at Kandi village in Ranga Reddy district, on the outskirts of Hyderabad at an investment of Rs.1000 crore. A veterinary university at Tirupati branches of IIIT at Krishna, Adilabad and Kadapa districts is on the educational road map of the state government.

The state government has also doubled the budgetary allocation for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan for promoting the literacy campaign in the state. A record Rs.6741.18 crore was spent in the last three years as against Rs.495 crore spent by the TDP regime and has succeeded in reducing the school drop out rates in the state..

The state school education minister says that the literacy rate in AP was only 60.47 percent as against the national average of 64.28 percent Andhra Pradesh accounted for 96277 schools and a total of five lakh teachers of which only ten percent were in private sector. There were nearly 65,317 vidya volunteers.

By end of 2006-07 the total enrolments in schools stood at 1.44 crore students. The school drop outs has also reduced from 4.64 lakh students in 2004-05 to 1.36 lakh in the current year.

The YSR government has hiked the budgetary allocation for mid day meal from Rs.405 crore in 2007 as against Rs.240 crore in 2004. The state government also hiked the allocation per child for mid day meal scheme to Rs.2.50 as against 1.50 per child per day.

“The scheme has been extended to even the children of minority schools and Madarasa’s all over the state“ says the state school education minister. The state government also proposes to extend the mid day meal scheme to students of higher secondary schools also.

The state government also took up its campaign to make the school students and teachers computer literate in a big way. With a budget of Rs.227.99 crore, 11,968 computers were installed in schools and nearly 14,596 teachers were trained during 2006-07.

As a precursor to the Rural Public Schools a new concept of 21st century schools to provide quality education students in semi-urban and rural areas on PPP with corporate companies was taken up in six locations in the state .One such Gurukul Institute is emerging at Basara in Adilabad, the home of temple of Goddess of learning-Saraswati.

The State government plans to set up post graduate campuses of JNTU at Karimnagar and Pulivendula (Kadapa) besides two engineering colleges at Karimnagar and Vizianagaram.

AP has set up IIT’s in Adilabad (Basar), Kadapa (Idupulapaya) and   Nuziveedu (Krishna district) and has also introduced Master Of Science in IT ( MSIT) course for  proficiency in IT studies.

To enable the rural students from engineering college adept themselves to industry needs several in-house courses were being run for their benefit. Several institutions of excellence like – Institute of Service Management, Institute of e-Governance (IEG) have also been set up.

As per a recent official study Andhra Pradesh produced 1.26 lakh Engineers and Pharmacy graduates, 4.26 lakh general graduates, 46,212 post-graduates, 4100 Medicine graduates, 10,800 Law, 38,529 – B.Ed, 16,875 –MBA and 21,850- MCA’s every year (source 2006- Official Records of Higher Secondary Education). As per official records there were 282 engineering colleges, 112 B.Phamacy, 273 MCA, 197 MBA, 142 Polytechnics in the state.

The Andhra Pradesh government had launched an unique experiment of setting up Jawahar Knowledge Centre (JKC) in engineering colleges to prepare the engineering graduates in soft skills needed for placement in ITES and IT sector jobs. Every 45,000 engineering students were provided special training in soft skills through the JKCs. However the state government has now decided to set up such JKCs in every degree college to meet the huge demand of the IT sector for trained personnel. The JKCs were dubbed as “English Labs“ to take them closer to the student community .

To promote research activities and to increase the number of quality teachers, the state has launched an five years integrated degree courses from the current year. During the course the students would study the general syllabus for two years but in the next three years they concentrated on one specialized subject for study and research so that by end of the course they would become qualified researchers and also ready to take up teaching avocations.

Similar integrated PG courses have also been begun in each of the strains to provide quality education and ready the students for easy absorption in high skilled job opportunities.

Conclusion:

Although the YSR government realized the need for private participation in education, however it did not totally hand over the education to the private sector like in the TDP period.

Instead it invited private participation in not only school education, but also higher secondary and professional education but kept the controls of recruitment to itself. “No elected government can shirk its responsibility to educate its people in any democratic set-up” said the chief minister Dr.Y. S.Rajsekhara Reddy.

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