VIJAYAWADA: Social Welfare Hostels-turned-residential schools will now be called Balayogi Gurukulams, Social Welfare Minister Ravela Kishore Babu said and added that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had given a green signal to the proposal.
Addressing the media at the secretariat on Tuesday, Ravela Kishore Babu said 86 tribal welfare hostels had been converted to residential schools and existing social welfare hostels would be converted into residential schools in the next two to three years. “There currently are 180 social welfare hostels with 1.06 lakh student strength in the state,” he said.
He said that the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) had recommended increasing the diet allowance for the social welfare and tribal welfare students from the present Rs 750 to `850 per month and said a decision in this regard would be taken soon. He stated that there are some vacancies in social welfare and tribal welfare departments, which need to be filled. “The department is preparing an action plan in this regard and the vacant posts would be filled at the earliest,” he added.
“In tune with the changing times, classroom teaching too is changing by adopting digital technology. We do not want to be left behind in the race. Already we have taken up digital classrooms in 40 social welfare residential schools on a pilot basis and the rest will follow, based on the outcome of the pilot project,” he said.
Ravela Kishore Babu said students as well as teachers in the social welfare residential schools and tribal welfare residential schools are at a disadvantage when it comes to English language skills, and, therefore, it has been decided to impart special training programme for the teachers first.
“It was also decided to provide Rs 21 crore each for five social welfare residential schools for comprehensive school building with all amenities on par with corporate schools,” he added. He said it has been proposed to set up a monitoring centre at Tadepalligudem for all social welfare and tribal welfare residential schools. “With surveillance cameras in the institutes and using fiber grid, the day-to-day activity at the institutes can be monitored remotely,” he observed.