VIJAYAWADA: Staff shortage and lack of basic facilities have put municipal schools, that have better admission rate this year, in the city in a crisis-like situation. Some of them do not even have proper drinking water facility and the students rely on municipal tankers.
Sri Tadepalli Raghava Narayana Sastry Municipal Elementary School in Moghalrajpuram has only two teachers for its 63 students. One of them was on leave on Saturday, leaving only one teacher for students from Classes 1 to 5. The school has two rooms, one of which is used as a kitchen to prepare midday meals while the other is occupied by the teachers. The kids spend their entire day and are being taught in a shed-like structure on the school premises.
Not only this, poor hygienic condition is putting the student’s health at risk. Swarm of flies could be seen in the school, which has only one 20-litre water container.Boyapati Sivarama Krishnaiah Municipal School at Jammichettu Centre, which has a strength of 374 students, has only three teachers working on Saturday, with another one on leave. School headmaster R Manibabu was among the three who were taking the classes.
Manibabu said: “As many as 170 children are new admissions this year, taking the total number of students in the school to 370. However, four teachers managing 370 students is quite a tough job. In these conditions, conducting Happiness classes (Anandha Vedika) and ‘no-bag-day’ would put a lot of burden on us. Forget about special classes, it is hard to even take regular classes here. The district officials have assured to send volunteer teachers from Monday.” Adding to the woes, kids here drink municipal water without filtration. When the tankers arrive, they themselves fill drums with water.
As the water purifier at Karnati Rammohan Rao Municipal School has not been working for the past few years, students are forced to consume the tap water. Though the water-purifying units were set up in all schools in 2015, they are in working condition in less than 20 per cent of them.
Speaking to TNIE, Deputy EO K Ravi Kumar said: “The issues such as lack of proper drinking water facilities in schools has not come to our notice. On Monday, I will make a personal visit to all schools and make sure that the problems are resolved.”