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Education Dept Responds to Misleading Reports on Lack of Books in Govt Schools

Over the past few months, enrolment in government schools of Andhra Pradesh has increased significantly. Development programs undertaken and welfare schemes being implemented by the State Government including, but not limited to, Mana Badi Nadu-Nedu, Jagananna Gorumudda, English as medium of education etc. has led to a large number of parents opting to transfer from private to public schools. 15,189 Government primary schools have recorded an increase in student intake, ranging from 10% to 100% for the FY 2020-21. A drastic shift like this wasn’t anticipated by the Education Department of the state, while printing textbooks for students.

A detailed press release by the Education Department underlining this issue states that the Government did print an additional 5% of the total books, but they weren’t sufficient. The remaining books will be printed and distributed in the next 15 days.

Estimates for printing of textbooks are usually based on the UDISE data. Textbooks were printed for the number of students enrolled in public schools as on 30th September 2019, which were 38,97,156. In addition to this, the government ordered an extra 5%, printing a total of 40,92,014 textbooks. As of November 2020, the government identified 40,84,983 students enrolled in government and aided schools. This number increased to 43,89,952 in just one month i.e by 19th December 2020. 2,97,938 students enrolled in government schools, in addition to the 5% estimated by the government. This number increased to 45,03,441 by March 2021, which means that 4,11,427 more students were enrolled than the total books printed.

At present, the government has made necessary arrangements for the printing of additional textbooks. On 4th March 2021, Rs. 7 crores was sanctioned for this purpose. The Education Department of the State will make sure that textbooks are distributed to students in the next 15 days. Based on this experience, the Department has also stated that they will ensure further planned activities for the coming academic year.