HYDERABAD: Telangana government’s claims of providing KG-to-PG education seems to be falling flat. Despite boasting the transportation connectivity, nearly half of the students in the state are forced to walk long distances to school. In districts like Adilabad, Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy, and in Medak, nearly half of the students (69.3 to 48.1 per cent) walk to school — the discomfort reducing their motivation to learn.
The proportion of students walking to school is highest among ST students when compared to all other social groups. 59.7 per cent boys and 68.6 per cent of girls from ST communities walk to school when compared to 43.9 per cent of boys and 50.9 per cent of girls among OBC’s. The details were published in the research paper titled Gender differences in levels of education. The paper is part of a comprehensive research study titled Telangana Social Development Report- 2018 Gender, Access and well being, edited by noted activist Kalpana Kannabiran and others.
Reflecting on the same, Professor Muchkund Dubey, retired foreign secretary to the government of India said though the state did well in having better sex ratio than most of other states, education was a dithering factor. “Providing bicycles for means of transport is a part of giving education to the school children. It enables to have more power, freedom, and enhances access to school for the children,” he said, while adding that gender disparity in the state is more or less same when compared to other parts of the country.
While it may be an obvious choice for children to walk to school when it is at a closer proximity, in some cases, a lot of school children after completion of school, opt to get enrolled for higher education only if an institute is within one kilometer from their homes. This category mostly constitutes girls.
Travel by foot
Male: 69.3*; Female: 80.3; Gap: -11
Male: 53.1; Female: 60.3; Gap: -7.2
Male: 48.1; Female: 51.7; Gap: -3.6
Male: 46.4; Female: 52.9; Gap: -6.5
Travel by public transport
Mahbubnagar Male: 18.5; Female: 11.8; Gap: 6.7
Male: 23.5; Female: 21.7; Gap: 1.8
Male: 33.6; Female: 30.8; Gap: 2.8
Male: 14.9; Female: 24.5; Gap: -9.6
Male: 32.8; Female: 8.5; Gap: 24.3
(*Numbers in %)