NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has demanded a report from the expert’s panel seeking reasons for zero enrolment of children in almost 400 government schools in Telangana.
The court’s concern came after Telangana informed it that out of 18,139 primary schools, 398 schools have zero enrolment, 980 schools have between 1-10 students and 2,333 schools have between 11-20 students in year 2015-16.
“An educational institution without having a pupil is like existence of an individual without health, or to put in a different manner, life without essence or purpose of living. Right to education has been made a fundamental right. It is the obligation of the State to see that the children between 1 to 14 years of age are imparted education,” a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said.
“There has to be generation of enthusiasm, cultivation of spirit and interest for education and sustenance of culture to send the children to school. The parents do have the responsibility to send the children to school but the State has the primary duty to create an atmosphere of faith so that the people at large believe that their children are going to be properly educated,” the bench said.
The court expressed concern over the fact that 398 schools have no enrolment in the State. “Therefore, we would like to know the reason for zero attendance/enrollment in these schools and, accordingly, we direct the Committee to go to the areas in question and verify with some of the members of the Telangana Parents Federation along with their counsel Sravan Kumar and submit a report to this court within four weeks,” the bench said.
The court’s direction came on a plea filed by J K Raju and others, seeking direction for steps to be taken for filling up vacancies of teachers in schools of Andhra and Telangana. The court has slated the hearing for May 10.
The petition cited the reasons for zero attendance as migration and shrinking of habitations, which had resulted many government schools functioning with zero strength or about 10-20, making them uneconomical, with the government unable to provide teachers.
“Moreover, the present norm under Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) Rules is to provide a Primary School within 1 KM distance which also leads to low strength. As per RTE Act, two teachers ‘Up to 60’ enrolment are to be provided. This means that a School with zero or even one strength has to be provided with two Teachers,” the affidavit filed by Telangana said.
It said there was greater migration from government to private schools even in rural areas as there was a demand for English medium education from parents, which was not available in government schools.