BERHAMPUR: A fortnight back, five students of Khandadeuli schools in Patrapur block of Ganjam district collected their transfer certificates and took admission in Telugu medium schools in Ichchapuram in Andhra Pradesh. Reason: There weren’t enough Telugu teachers and books for them to study in the Odia medium schools in Khandadeuli.
In Antarsingh village under the same block, there are over 100 children but only 30 of them are studying in the UP school located in the village. The rest goes to schools in Dijipur and Sariapali of the neighbouring State. In Barang village, three students of the local school were shifted to a school in Jhadipudi on the other side of the border this year.
The story is the same in almost all the Odisha villages that are located close to the Andhra Pradesh border. A majority of the population in the bordering villages speak Telugu and want their children to read and write in the language. Even as Odisha Government has been claiming of spending crores of rupees to improve the standard of education in schools managed by School and Mass Education Department, this does not hold true in the case of bordering villages where schools are facing acute shortage of Telugu teachers and books.
With the Government failing to meet the demands of children in this part of the State, Andhra Pradesh Government is drawing them by providing Telugu books, teachers and most importantly, financial help of Rs 15,000 per student. Earlier this year, Chief Minister of the neighbouring State YS Jaganmohan Reddy had assured that under Amma Vodi scheme, annual financial assistance of Rs 15,000 will be provided to parents who want to send their wards to schools in Andhra Pradesh where Telugu teaching has been made mandatory for protecting the language. Besides, the Andhra schools provide free food and boarding facilities to students from Odisha.
Over the last few years, a number of students in schools in Odisha side of the border has been deceasing but this has failed the State Government to wake up from its slumber. Due to lack of Telugu books and teachers, the school in Boribada village under Ganjam district was closed this year. Similarly, Gudipadar village was closed over the same reason.
Block Education Officer of Patrapur, Koreshu Sethi said the matter has been apprised to the higher authorities. In regular intervals, families in bordering villages are been asked to refrain from admitting their children to schools in Andhra Pradesh, he said, adding that in the last few years, training of teachers in the Telugu language has been started in Chikiti block but unavailability of Telugu books is a deterrent. District Education Officer was not available for comments.
Andhra Pradesh Government is drawing students from Odisha by providing Telugu books, teachers and most importantly, financial help of Rs 15,000 per student. Andhra CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy had announced that under Amma Vodi scheme, annual financial assistance of Rs 15,000 will be provided to parents who want to send their wards to schools in AP where Telugu teaching is mandatory