Decision to shut model sports school leaves students in a fix

The SAAP officials have taken the issue to the notice of local MLA, district collector and education minister, but in vain.
Students of Vizianagaram Model Sports School and their parents staging a dharna at collectorate in protest against the closure of the school on Tuesday. (Photo | Express)
Students of Vizianagaram Model Sports School and their parents staging a dharna at collectorate in protest against the closure of the school on Tuesday. (Photo | Express)

VIZIANAGARAM: At a time when several children from Vizianagaram are getting national recognition by showcasing their sports talent, a few other students in the district are fighting for their sports school which was closed by the State government. At least 80 students along with their parents staged a protest at the collectorate demanding that the government continue their school.The previous TDP government established a model sports school in Vizianagaram, the second model sports school in the State after Dr YSR Model Sports School in Kadapa.

The State government started the model sports school at Vizzy Stadium in Vizianagaram in collaboration with Sports authorities of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) in the 2018-19 academic year. Later, the school was shifted to the Rajiv Sports Ground. As many as 80 students from various parts of the State got admission l after a selection test conducted at Nagarjuna University. The YSRC government has stopped funding for the school maintenance. At the same time, it has been sanctioning funds to Dr YSR Model Sports School in Kadapa.

Meanwhile, the SAAP has stopped the recruitment of children in the name of Covid-19. Though all the government schools reopened in August 2021, the model sport school in Vizianagaram was reopened only in December-2021 allegedly due to lack of funds with the SAAP.

The SAAP officials have taken the issue to the notice of local MLA, district collector and education minister, but in vain. With this, the SAAP has decided to close the school temporarily. SAAP conducted a talent test for the students a few days ago and selected 25 of the 80 students and directed them to take admission in the Kadapa school. They closed the school without prior information to the students. With this, students staged a dharna.

Speaking to TNIE, K.Satya of Sabbavaram of Visakhapatnam district, mother of Lasya who is studying class 6, said, “My daughter got admission four years ago. They selected only 25 students, leaving the rest on a sticky wicket. We are worried over their future. It is unfortunate to close the sports school in the education minister’s own district. I appeal to the government to either continue the school or provide admission to all students in Kadapa. We will continue our fight until we get justice.”

SAAP assistant director L Devanandam said, “We have been running the model sports school using our funds from the past three years. We have raised the issue with MLA Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy and Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, but in vain. We are ready to reopen it once we get government funds. ”

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