HYDERABAD: With the State-run schools witnessing multi-fold increase in admissions post COVID-19 pandemic and the government printing books based on the student strength of previous year, about three lakh students in the government schools are facing difficulty in obtaining textbooks for the current academic year.
This year, there has been a phenomenal increase in student admissions in government schools across the State, taking the over all strength to 25.5 lakh. However, the government printed just 1.43 crore textbooks, which would suffice the requirement of only 19 lakh students.
Anticipating this problem, the government tried to tackle the issue by arranging used books for about three lakh students, which left the remaining three lakh odd students high and dry. In every government school, an average of around 50 to 80 students are yet to receive books.
The newly-enrolled students, who joined school after September, are worried as they are unable to prepare for the summative assessment that takes place in December. While confirming that around three lakh students are yet to receive books, a senior official of the Education Department said: "We are looking into this problem. We are doing our best to solve the issue at the earliest."
The sudden and unprecedented spike in enrolments in government schools is being attributed to the inability of parents to send their children to private schools as COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns hit their livelihoods and left them in a financial mess.According to officials, most of the new admissions are in higher classes.
Meanwhile, Additional Director of School Education K Lingaiah clarified, saying: "Almost 80 per cent of students received textbooks. All the districts except Jayashankar-Bhupalpally, Kamareddy, Medchal, Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Nalgonda districts received 100 percent textbooks."
Headmasters of various government schools said that students who were enrolled in June and July were given the books but some of those who joined in September are yet to get them.
Meanwhile, parents are urging the government to provide textbooks to their wards at the earliest. "I enrolled my son in a government school after pulling him out of a private institution. But it is shocking to know that the government is unable to provide books to him," he said.