HYDERABAD: The state government would soon launch a new scheme ‘Punadi’ in tribal areas to improve educational standards among tribals and also conduct orientation programmes to teachers working in these areas. Further, 2,151 vacant teacher posts would be filled shortly in various tribal schools. Of these, 1,348 posts would be filled through promotions and the remaining through direct recruitment.
Making the announcement in the state Assembly during the Question Hour on Wednesday, tribal welfare minister P Balaraju admitted that during a random survey conducted among tribal students of Classes III to IX recently, revealed poor performance by them.
He said the state government is taking all measures to control the dropout rate and improve educational standards in tribal areas.
Legislators expressed concern over the falling standards in the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) areas due to lack of qualified teachers and delay in release of funds for education programmes in the areas across the state. They demanded that the state government should fill the vacant teacher posts and initiate measures for checking dropout rate in the tribal schools.
MLA A Suresh, who raised the question, said that a recent survey revealed that only 29 per cent tribal students were proficient in writing in Telugu, while only 11 per cent were able to write in English. He said that more than 70 per cent students were dropping out of schools before they reach Class X and urged the government to give special allowance to teachers working in ITDA areas.
TDP MLA D Anasuya alias Sithakka said that the government is running schools with casual relief teachers (CRTs) and vidya volunteers in tribal areas but have not paid salaries for more than a year. “How can the government expect them to teach without salaries for so many months?,” she wondered.
BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy suggested that proper accommodation, bus facility and special incentives be provided for teachers in those areas.