The Scenario of Social-Development in “Bangaru Telangana.”
The prime objective of any welfare State is to improve social infrastructure for sustainable and improved standard of living of the people. Social infrastructure comprises Education, Health, Nutrition, Sanitation and Water supply etc. Once the process of social development is institutionalized, it provides sustenance to the overall process of economic development.
The literacy rate of the State is 66.46 per cent in 2011 as against 58 per cent in 2001. The literacy rate of the State is lower than that of all India literacy rate 72.99%. A slow growth in literacy rate was identiﬁ ed during the last decade at State and National levels.
The general literacy rates (7 years & above) in the State are not very high and with one third non-literate, the rank of the State is 25 among the States in 2011. The adult literacy rate for the State of Telangana is 73.7 per¬cent and stands at 21st position among the States in 2011-12. The proportion of households with no adult literate was 29 percent in rural Telangana while it was 18.7 percent at all-India level in 2011-12. However, in the urban segment still 6 percent of households do not have any adult literate member.
The State of Telangana with a literacy rate of 66.46% has 207.84 lakh literates, of which 117.49 lakh are males and 90.35 lakhs females. In terms of proportions the literacy rate stands at 74.95% for males and 57.92% for females.
One of the primary goals for human development as identiﬁed by the UNDP Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) is ‘Education for All’ which is enshrined in Article 21A of the Constitution of India. Ed¬ucation is a fundamental right post the 93rd Constitutional Amendment in 2009. In order to achieve this goal, need exists for ensuring access to education, gender parity in school enrolment, overall enrolment and retention and the quality of education being imparted.
To effectively implement this constitutional mandate, elementary education in India is brought under the ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyaan’ (SSA) which seeks to universalize elementary education. Similarly, secondary edu¬cation has been brought under the ﬂagship programme ‘Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyaan’ (RMSA). These two schemes along with the implementation of the Right to Education Act, via a distinct set of State rules, strengthen the provision of education in the State.
Universal Access to Education
The Right to Education Act lays down the following norms to be followed in establishing schooling facilities
• Primary level schools within 1 km walkable distance of all habitations
• Secondary level schools within a radius of 5kms of all habitations
• Elementary level schools within 3 km walkable distance of all habitations.
Telangana State has achieved 99% access at elementary level and 91.5% at secondary level by setting up schools in accordance to the parameters mentioned above. Primary and secondary schools have started in areas which were not served earlier.
The department provides schooling facility to school-aged population which stands at 61.78 lakh children. During 2014-15, there are 43208 schools of various managements functioning in the State. The State is close to achieving its objective of ‘Universalization of Primary Education’, signiﬁcant efforts were made in strengthening physical infrastructure at primary level of education insti-tutions that improved the teacher-pupil ratio with quality of teaching. The teacher pupil ratio for primary, upper primary and high school category as of 2014-15 for the State stand at 27, 23 and 24 respectively
With the objective of universalization of elementary education several initiatives have been undertaken like strengthening of existing schools, opening of new primary schools, establishment of alternative schools and other type of educational facilities in remote and un-served habitations. The interventions undertaken to bring out-of-school children into the formal education system have been particularly successful in improving the enrolment of children in schools. Enrolment in all types of schools in the State during 2014-15 was 60.76 Lakh.
Another challenge that requires attention, while trying to achieve universal access to education is the reten¬tion of children. While primary enrolment levels are quite high, this number drops drastically as student’s progress through classes. Data shows that the dropout rate for Telangana is 22.32% at the primary (Class I-V) level alone and 38.21% at the secondary level (Class I-X).
The ASER 2014 conducted by Pratham found that in the rural areas of Telangana, this issue can be attributed to the employment of children in agriculture and allied activities, especially during harvest season. Meanwhile, interventions undertaken to bring several out of school children into schools, provision of gender speciﬁc facilities and reforms in the examination system must be strengthened.
Mid-Day Meal Scheme
The Government of India is supporting the scheme for supply of mid-day meal to students of Classes I-VIII, and the State Government extended the scheme with their own funds for classes IX and X. The State Government is also providing Egg / Banana twice a week to improve the nutritional standards of the students. Mid-Day Meal is being served with super ﬁne rice to all the students in the state. 30.44 lakh students were covered under the Mid-Day Meal scheme during 2014-15.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) aims at providing useful and relevant Elementary Education for all children in the age group of 6 to 14. SSA intends to bridge social, regional and gender gaps, with the active participation of the community in the management of schools with a funding pattern of 65:35 for the year 2014-15.
• Enrolment of all children in the age group of 6-14 years in regular schools.
• Retaining the enrolled children till the completion of 8 years of elementary education
• Focus on elementary education of satisfactory quality with emphasis on education for life
• Bridging gender and social category gaps at elementary education level.
• Opening of New Primary Schools
• Up-gradation of Primary Schools to Upper Primary Schools
• Sanction of Regular Teachers to new schools and additional teachers to existing Primary & Upper Primary Schools
• Strengthening of Mandal Resource Centers and School Complexes
• Providing 5 day training to in-service Teachers every year
• Education for Out of School Children and special training
• Supply of Uniforms
• Release of Teaching Learning Equipment Grant to New Primary & Upper Primary Schools
• Release of School Grant, Teacher Grant and Maintenance Grant to schools
• Conducting Research and Evaluation studies on interventions being implemented – Supervision & Monitoring of activities
• Management, Quality and Community mobilization
• Innovations – Organizing innovative activities for Girls Education, Early Childhood Education, Edu¬cation of SC’s& STs, Minority, Urban deprived Children and Computer Education for Upper Primary Schools
• Training of Community Leaders and Community mobilization
• Transport / Escort
• Running Special Residential Schools and hostels for urban deprived children
Achievements during 2014-15
• Around 38 new primary schools opened during 2014-15 in school-less habitations.
• About 22, 41,785 children were provided 2 sets of uniforms.
• About 99.4% schools are implementing the Mid-day meal scheme, thereby placing the State of Telangana at 2nd position in the national level.
• Teacher-Pupil Ratio (TPR) has improved and is as per norms at 1:29 at the Class I-V level, 1:24 at the Class I-VII/VIII level, 1: 39 at the class I- XII level.
• About 98.4% schools in the State have functioning School Management Committees.
• Around 52,947 out of school children were given special training for mainstreaming them into regular schools.
G. Rajendra Kumar (Source: The Hans India.)