HYDERABAD: The Government Boys High School for the Blind (GBHSB), a residential school in the city Started in early 1939 by the Nizams, now stands neglected and cries for attention from the authorities. During its heyday, the school had even inspired a few foreign countries to adopt its working model, it is learnt.
Despite being accorded the Grade -1 status in terms of remuneration paid to the teachers, the school has little to offer to visually-challenged children. Located in Darulshifa, near the Salar Jung Museum in the Old City, the enrolment of students has fallen considerably from around 300 in the 1960s and 1980s to about 80 students now.
According to the alumni of the school, the fate of schools for the visually challenged is the same anywhere in the state. Venkat Ramulu, chairman of the Teachers and Employees Welfare Association for Blind, has alleged that Education Research Teachers (ERTs), appointed by the state government to spot and enrol visually-challenged children in the government school, are diverting the students to NGOs in consideration of money. “ERTs are taking money ranging from Rs 400 to Rs 500 per child from NGOs for helping them enrol visually-challenged children in their institutes instead of the government school. From my personal enquiries I learnt that such irregularities are taking place mostly in Nizamabad, Medak and Adilabad. That is the reason for government institutions losing new admissions,” he said.
Lack of computers
With technology being the buzz word nowadays and technical education being more of a necessity than of an option, government schools for the blind are deprived of just this facility.
“Computer education is restricted to students of Classes 9 and 10 as the school lacks the systems. How long should we depend on donors for computers?” asked an exasperated MD Ali, a Braille teacher at GBHSB.