Andhra Pradesh’s new Education Policy evokes mixed reactions

Vishakhapatanam: The AP government’s ambitious plan for rejuvenating the school education system via the new National Education Policy-2020 (NEP) from August 16 has evoked mixed responses from academics, teachers, and parents.

There is no official decision on the NEP so far, vis-à-vis covering all 33,000 primary schools in 13 districts, but nearly 3600 of these schools have preliminarily been identified to shift the Classes III-V to the nearest 3,172 upper primary or high schools from August 16. This is when the government will reopen schools after the Covid19 lockdowns and curfews.

Srinivasa Rao, parent of a primary school student here said, “The government’s decision for revamping school education is good, but it should not be at the cost of the student’s life and the parent’s strain. The government would do well not to take any hurried decision about the NEP.”

Balasubramaniam, MLC from Chittoor, Nellore, and Prakasam constituencies, said the government seemed to have realised the issues in the implementation of the policy at the ground level after going through the public’s feedback and requests from teachers.

“If the government wants to club primary schools with high schools, it should shift the entire primary classes from Class I to V to high schools, instead of breaking them into two parts – like merging the Class I to II with pre-primary schools and Class III to V with the high schools,” said Balasubramaniam, who earlier worked as an adviser to the Bihar school education department.

UTF state secretary Prabhakar Varma said, “The government did not conduct a meeting with teachers’ unions on the implementation of the NEP.  We have certain fears about loss of jobs. The government should clear our doubts. Moreover, if all the primary schools are shifted to high schools, the existing well-developed school buildings under Nadu-Nedu will become useless.”

According to Varma, there is only one government school in the state at Rajahmundry where the Class I to Class X is administered by a single management.

State education minister Audimulapu Suresh said, “We have identified nearly 3,600 primary schools to shift to the nearest 3,172 upper primary or high schools from August 16. We have not taken a decision on the remaining schools. We will have a review meeting with the chief minister before August 16.”

 AP School Pattern

– 33,000 primary schools

– 6,000 high schools

– 5,000 upper primary schools

– Nearly 42 lakh students studying in all schools

– 20 lakh students come under primary schools

– 8 lakh students may be shifted from the primary schools to high schools

– Nearly 3,600 primary schools identified to be shifted to nearest high schools from August 16

– CM Jagan to review the NEP policy before August 16

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