Rayagada: Students in Rayagada district residing on the fringes of Andhra Pradesh have shifted to schools in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh after the state government closed down several schools citing lack of student strength.
Moreover, primary schools in Odisha remaining closed for the last two years due to the pandemic has led to an exodus of students to Andhra schools. The students have been enrolled in Amma Bodi scheme launched by the Andhra Pradesh government and are studying for free in these schools.
They have also been entitled to the provisions for free food, free uniforms and an annual stipend of Rs 30,000 for the students. Observers said this to have happened due to the closure of schools in Odisha for a prolonged period.
They claimed that although Odisha government has announced to reopen the schools from January 3, chances of the kids’ homecoming are slim. Schools in Odisha have been locked up due to alleged lack of students while the Andhra administration is trying to lure them with various incentives.
The authorities in Andhra are admitting the students in their schools without asking for transfer certificates (TCs) and providing them with all facilities. Reports said that schools in Andhra Pradesh have reopened from June.
Regular classes are being held in these schools for which students of Kereda Upper Primary (UP) School on the border area have shifted to a school in Andhra Pradesh.
P Lakshmi, headmistress of Kereda UP School said that many students have shifted to the Andhra schools and have taken admission there without any transfer certificates. She also said that a guardian had applied for a TC Thursday for which she had sought the permission of ABEO. The student will get his TC after ABEO’s approval.
Sources revealed that the state government closed down around 391 schools in Rayagada district citing lack of student strength.
As many as 314 schools were closed in 2019-20 and 77 more schools in 2020- 21 financial years. Similarly, 1,162 primary schools, 238 secondary schools and 577 UP schools have remained closed since the advent of Covid.
When contacted, district education officer (DEO) Purna Chandra Bariha said that the matter will be taken seriously and a probe will be ordered to ascertain the claim.