Alarming: Dropout rate in schools of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by Ridhima gupta

There are a few challenges to child development for the post-bifurcation governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The border districts of the two states face the most problems. People allege that the two governments neglect these districts and consequently the small mandals (taluks) children are in a poor condition.

The major problems faced by children are quality of education, high dropout rates and absence of toilets leading to inconvenience and open defecation.

Chilambandi in Kurnool district is a small village with a population of about 700 people. Chilabandi shares a Panchayat with another village Erradoddi. Both the villages have one Primary school each till class five. For secondary education, the children have to go the Amargundala which is 4 kms away.

Amadagundutla has two schools; one primary school which has been in existence since 1940 and another Zilla Parishad school.

P.Narasimholu School headmaster of Amargundula primary school

The primary school head master is P.Narasimholu. The school has 163 students, 90 boys and 73 girls. There are three teachers in the school. Farida Sultan is one of them. She also manages most of the work in the school.

Amadagundutla Primary School
The financial resources for the school comes from the Centre, while free school uniforms and fund for the maintenance comes from the state government. “Every year we get 15000 rupees for this but this year we haven’t received any money yet” said Narasimholu.
“Mid day meal scheme is functional in the school and we give food as per the menu and egg and banana once a week,” said the cook of the school who has been working there for the last five years.

Mrs Sultan said only two to three students don’t go for the junior secondary school. There is not much dropout till class tenth.

From left Mrs Farida sultan, Abida, Mrs Sheetal

Z.P School is two km far from the M.P.P.S school and is till class tenth. The school has medium of instruction in both English and Telugu. Madhusudhan Reddi is the head master of the school. Children from nearby villages also come to Z.P school as for most of the nearby villages Z.P school is the only school for higher secondary. The school have 500 children, 150 are girls and 350 are boys.

Z.P School is two km far from the M.P.P.S school and is till class tenth. The school has medium of instruction in both English and Telugu. Madhusudhan Reddi is the head master of the school. Children from nearby villages also come to Z.P school as for most of the nearby villages Z.P school is the only school for higher secondary. The school have 500 children, 150 are girls and 350 are boys.

“Now parents think that if they will send their children to English medium schools their children will get better education. Eight years ago there were only four students in the English medium school whereas now there are 30 to 45 students,” said the English teacher D.Munindra Sharma.

According to the headmaster, after tenth standard, about 50% of the boys and 25% of the girls enrolled in the school go to higher secondary schools, and therefore drop out is a serious problem.. But the school dropout is more for the girl children as there is not much hostel facility for them. “We have hostel for boys in the school but not for girls that is why more boys come to the school than the girls,” explained the headmaster.

Another major reason for drop out of girls is the lack of usable toilets and open defecation.

Another major reason for drop out of girls is the lack of usable toilets and open defecation.

In M.P.P.S Amadagundutla School, the two toilets inside the school building were locked. “We have toilets but children like to go in open to defecate as our school is surrounded by the fields,” said Mrs Sultan and laughed.

Locked Toilets in Amargungula Primary School

In M.P.P.S Amadagundutla School, the two toilets inside the school building were locked. “We have toilets but children like to go in open to defecate as our school is surrounded by the fields,” said Mrs Sultan and laughed.

In Z.P school, Amargundula, washrooms are at the back side of the school and one washroom for the staff which is inside the school building, the headmaster said.

The washrooms for the children are in the worst condition and the boys toilets is an open space in the field with a semi covered cement roof and surrounded by long bushes.

The girl toilets on the contrary are covered but there is no water in the taps and the washroom looks totally unused..

The washrooms for the children are in the worst condition and the boys toilets is an open space in the field with a semi covered cement roof and surrounded by long bushes. The girl toilets on the contrary are covered but there is no water in the taps and the washroom looks totally unused..

In both the schools open defecation is prevalent but the school officials were reluctant to accept it.

The condition in most of the villages is almost the same the dropout ratio is very high in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. According to the 2011 census data, eight lakh children between age six and 14 in Telangana state are not schooling while Andhra Pradesh has 10 lakh such children.

Open Defecation in villages

As per data, due to such conditions in the schools both the states also ranks among highest in child marriage cases. The 2011 census data reveals that 4,53,030 girls aged between 16 to 17, 72,569 aged between 14 to 15, 5,305 aged 12-13 and 572 aged 10-11 were married duration by the year 2011.

23 year old Zema begam with her kids

A resident of Salkapur district in Andhra Pradesh, Zamila Bano is a house wife and is pregnant for five months and already has two daughters. Zimila is 18 years old and she was married two year ago.

“My younger brother is studying in Kurnool, he is in intermediate. I have studied till Fifth grade and my Appi (elder sister) is also married

A resident of Salkapur district in Andhra Pradesh, Zamila Bano is a house wife and is pregnant for five months and already has two daughters. Zimila is 18 years old and she was married two year ago.
“My younger brother is studying in Kurnool, he is in intermediate. I have studied till Fifth grade and my Appi (elder sister) is also married and is she is also fifth pass. There was no higher secondary school in our village that is why our parent’s didn’t send us to study further.
The story of many girls is same in these villages. Another 17 year old girl, Rekha Akaraki is staying at her parents’ house for her first delivery. Rekha has also not been to a higher secondary school.

Credits:

Ridhima gupta

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