Hyderabad: The Congress party on Wednesday demanded that the TRS Government take immediate measures for education of 25,843 poor minority students who could not get admission in 5th class in minority residential schools in Telangana State.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department chairman Mohammed Waliullah Sameer has accused the TRS Government of systematically reducing educational opportunities for poor minority students.
He pointed out that as many as 40,483 applications were received for 14,640 seats in 5th class in 204 schools being run by Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS) across the State.
“While it is common for students to compete for seats in higher education through common entrance exams like EAMCET, NEET, IIT-JEE or ICET, for the first time in history poor minority students were made to write an entrance exam for admission in 5th Class in government schools. This forced more than 13,000 to drop out of competition and 27,093 students appeared for entrance test held on April 20,” he said.
Sameer said that the TMREIS has been feeling proud that its schools were becoming popular with three students competing for one seat.
However, he said it was not a matter to be proud of but an issue of serious concern. “It is highly condemnable that poor innocent students of 8-9 years of age were forced to write an entrance exam to get admission in 5th class. The high number of applications also shows the level of poverty among minorities and also the lack of opportunities for primary education for them,” he said.
The Congress leader pointed out that the demand-supply gap was not a new phenomenon. Earlier, on failure to get admission in a residential school, poor students used to join the Upper Primary schools close to their neighbourhood. A few of them also used to join Madarsas. However, he said that option has now been removed by the TRS Government.
Quoting a report of Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), he said as per the national study conducted by the National Institute of Educational Planning & Administration, as many as 3,415 government schools were closed in just one year after the formation of TRS Government in Telangana.
As against 25,289 Primary Schools in 2014-15, there were just 21,948 Primary Schools in 2015-16. Similarly, the Upper Primary School got reduced from 7,263 in 2014-15 to 7,189 in 2015-16.
He said as per the latest report of Comptroller & Auditor General of India, the level of education in Telangana has gone down between 2014 and 2017. The enrolment in Government Primary Schools has decreased by 7.65% from 2014-17. Similarly, the enrolment in Upper Primary Schools has dropped by 2.13% in the same period.
Sameer said more than 200 Madarsas with 34,110 students were also shut down under TRS regime. While there were 579 Madarsas with 69,082 students in 2013-14, they got reduced to 378 with 34,972 students in 2016-17.
“By showing 204 residential schools, TRS Govt has shut down thousands of Primary and Upper Primary Schools and also forced over 200 Madarsas to close their operations,” he said.
The Minorities Dept chief said that the TRS has come to power in 2014 on the promise of giving ‘KG to PG Free Education’. However, he said that the TRS regime has attacked the primary education system in such a way that poor students have very limited options for studies.
“If a child is unable to study in KG (Kindergarten), how would he go for PG (Post-Graduation),” he said. Further, he said Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has forgotten his promise of giving 12% reservation to Muslims in jobs and education.
“Instead of enhancing Muslim quota to 12% in education by fulfilling his promise, CM KCR has been reducing educational opportunities for minorities on perennial basis,” he alleged.
Stating that 25,843 students who could not get admission in minority residential schools this year were very poor and therefore, Sameer said those students could not afford to join any private schools.
Since there are not enough Government Upper Primary Schools available for them, it is most likely that a majority of them will drop out and discontinue their education. “State Government should take immediate steps to accommodate these 25,843 students in other schools or make some alternate arrangements to save their academic year,” he demanded.
Since more than 40,000 applications were received for admission in 5th class of residential schools this year, it can be assumed the same or more number of applications will be received next year. Therefore, the State Government should make arrangements to provide admission to nearly 50,000 students from next year onwards, he demanded.
Sameer said despite Chief Minister KCR holding Minorities Department portfolio in the last term, the problems being faced by the minority communities remained unsolved. This time the portfolio has been assigned to Minister Koppula Eshwar.
However, he said it was highly regrettable that the minister, who took charge on February 20, did not hold a single review meeting on minorities’ welfare.
He announced that the Congress party would not tolerate the silence of TRS Government on this issue nor it would allow the neglect of over 25,000 poor minority students. “We will take our fight to streets if justice is not done with thousands of poor minority students and their families,” he announced.
TPCC Official Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin was also present in the press conference. (INN)