BAPATLA: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has asserted that the implementation of educational reforms and a plethora of welfare schemes for students is meant to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in colleges in AP to 70% by 2035.
Addressing a large gathering in Bapatla on Thursday after crediting Rs 694 crore into the bank accounts of mothers of 11.02 lakh student beneficiaries under the Jagananna Vidya Deevena (total fee reimbursement) scheme for the first quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal, he reiterated that education is an invaluable asset, which can change the fate of a student, a family and the country and it is the only solution for eradication of poverty.
The main objective of the schemes like Amma Vodi, Vidya Deevena, Vasathi Deveena and Nadu Nedu is to secure the future of students, besides equipping them to face the global competition boldly.“Now, we are competing with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. Brazil has 55% GER, Russia 86% and China 58%, compared to India’s 29%. Our aim is to improve the GER in AP to 70% by 2035,” he averred.
Elaborating further, he said the government efforts had started yielding results as the GER in the State increased by 8.64% in 2019-20, compared to 2018-19, while the GER improvement at the national level was 3.04% only. The GER in respect of girl students had improved by 11.03%, compared to 2.28% increase at the national level.
The GER of SC students increased to 7.5% in 2019-20, compared to 2018-19, which was only 1.7% at the national level. In case of STs, the GER improved to 9.5% against the 4.5% increase at the national level, the Chief Minister explained.
Taking a dig at the Opposition for belittling the expenditure on education and questioning the purpose of Amma Vodi stating that the freebies of YSRC government would make AP another Sri Lanka, Jagan said the statistics released by the Union Ministry of Education in 2018, showed the GER in primary education in AP at 84.48%, while it was 99% at the national level.
“This means AP is lagging behind and it is only competing with other States at the bottom level and not at the top of the list. Our government wanted to change it and ensure better future to students. Those who are criticising that the State will become another Sri Lanka, should take note of it,” he suggested.
Reiterating that his government sees education as the right of a child and introduced a plethora of programmes to ensure that poverty does not become a hindrance to go for higher education. “We want to see the college students in the age group of 17-22 years are well equipped to face the challenges in the next 80 years and lead a life with happiness and self-confidence,” the Chief Minister averred and added that for that very reason we are implementing the total fee reimbursement scheme.
Giving the details of funds spent on education schemes in the last three years, Jagan said Rs 11,715 crore was spent for Jagananna Vidya Deevena and Jagananna Vasathi Deevena, Rs 19,618 crore for Amma Vodi, Rs 2,324 crore for Vidya Kanuka and Rs 4,895 crore for YSR Sampoora Poshana. A total sum of Rs 53,338 crore was spent on improvement of the education sector only, he elaborated.
Jagan said while his government believes in Direct Benefit Transfer schemes to ensure transparency, accountability and zero corruption, the previous TDP regime and those supporting it only believe in ‘Dochuko, Panchuko Tinuko’ (DPT) and their criticism reflects their jealousy and heart burning.
He concluded his speech stating that his biggest asset and advantage are public support and God’s blessings. Earlier, he greeted the people of Bapatla and women in the State on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.