School dropouts and illiteracy rate may increase, especially in old city due to the prevailing situation arise out of coronavirus lockdown as hundreds of schools are about to close while the families of poor background carrying several apprehensions before sending their children to pursue studies.
There is an element of plausibility on thinking so as poor families are incomplete quandary over the protection of their children following the reopening of schools though it is not yet decided, neither by the state nor the central government, when to begin the academics.
Risk of coronavirus, no easy access to hospitals if a person or pupil got effected with the contagion, community shame for affected persons and the deteriorating financial condition are the major factors that are making it difficult for the poor families to decide whether to continue studies of their children throwing all the apprehensions to the wind or keep them off from the schools.
“Our primary concern is to earn some money to eke out bread and butter for our families as the lockdown has cast a shadow over the business we are counting on. We could be able to decide whether to send the children to school or not only after the restoration of business and the economic condition,” said Abdul Saleem, a resident of the old city who sells vegetables at weekly markets.
“One in every four families in the old city feels that sending their children to schools in a present volatile situation is not at all conducive as the risk of contagion and the deteriorating financial condition due to lockdown knocking every door forcing the families to think twice before sending their wards to pursue studies, explained Advocate Abdalla Bahmaid, a social activist.
“No clarity about how long the pandemic will go on and the financial difficulties to execute plans are hanging like a sword of Damocles and are making difficult for the poor families to discern between what is good and what is not for their children right under the prevailing situation, he added.
“The pre lockdown period has already witnessed an unprecedented increase in school fees. Now the situation turned more volatile wherein every sphere of life has affected. Keeping the children off from the school is a hard decision but keeping them fully secure at least in their own houses play before our eyes are more judicious call then to hand them over to a completely unsafe situation,” contended Syed Shoukat Ali, a civil right activist.
“There is no possibility of reopening the schools till November this year. The budget schools are the worst-hit area of the lockdown axis. There are nearly 2000 schools that are about to close soon due to nonpayment of salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff besides no revenue for maintenance,” explained Yadagiri Shekar Rao, President Telangana Recognised Schools Management Association (TRSMA).
There are, he explained, total 10,984 schools in the state where in 33 lakhs students are pursuing their studies. Teaching and non teaching staff collectively accounts for 5 lakhs. However, 30 to 40 percent of staff already leaves the jobs due to non payment of salaries. They are doing odd jobs and labour work at their native places.
“Due to prevailing situation, “Illiteracy rate will go up to 77% from the present 33% in the next two to three years. If the situation continues to remains like this for next few years then only the rich people can afford to educate their children while the children of poor families will be forced to become labour”, asserted Shekar Rao.