‘8,000 schools were closed for World Bank loan’: TDP blames Andhra Pradesh government

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has launched a scathing attack on the state government, accusing it of closing 8,000 schools in the state.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, TDP official spokesperson K. Pattabhiram said that the state government has put the future of the students on the line for the sole purpose of securing a 2,000 crore loan ₹ from the World Bank.

“The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) report points out that conditions are imposed to qualify for the loan. The condition is that the department avoid increasing recurrent human resources (HR) expenditures by keeping additional requirements, if any, to an absolute minimum,” he said.

The report further states that the Support Andhra’s Learning Transformation (SALT) project with loan assistance of US$250 million (₹2,000 crore) from the World Bank was aimed at giving a boost to various initiatives in the school education such as Nadu-Nedu and the introduction of English as the medium of instruction in public schools, the TDP leader said.

Pupils from elementary to high school were facing difficulties due to government policies, he alleged.

“The merger of primary schools with high schools has resulted in the closure of 8,000 schools. The report shines a light on the government’s failures and mistakes,” he said.

“The drop in registrations is quite high at 2.80 lakh. The average annual high school dropout rate in 2021 was quite high at 16.7%. The average annual dropout rate by level in class 10 is 31.3%. There are 39,008 teaching vacancies in public primary schools,” he said.

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