10 years of Telangana: KCR's pioneering efforts enhanced quality of education in state

The Telangana government is on a mission to provide high-quality education, proper housing, and nutritional food to students

Boards twice a year, exams on demand, big changes in education system

HYDERABAD: The Telangana government, led by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR), has taken numerous pioneering efforts to enhance the quality of education, especially higher education, in the state, believing that investing in students is a worthwhile investment in the future.

The Telangana government is on a mission to provide high-quality education, proper housing, and nutritional food to students, as well as to make women in the state healthy and strong. The well-being of Telangana students is prioritised, and the state administration's reforms in the education sector are yielding excellent results, thanks to Chief Minister KCR's strong leadership and vision.

With the aim of providing proper education to the students from poor economic backgrounds, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao devised the ground-breaking Mana Ooru-Mana Badi scheme, which cost Rs 7,289 crore and benefited 19.84 lakh government school children. With the help of the initiative, the state government renovated the infrastructure and basic amenities of the schools.

School Education Department

Students are increasingly migrating from private educational institutions to schools run by the state government and municipal governments. The number of student admissions for the school year 2022-23 has increased dramatically. More than one lakh new students were admitted to government schools. Enrollment of students has increased as a result of the state government's effective implementation of educational development schemes such as the quality education system, instruction in English medium, and mid-day meal with small rice and nutritious food.

Innovative development in education

Telangana has the most Gurukula Vidyalayas in the country. A total of 5,99,537 students receive world-class education in the state's 930 gurukula schools, residential junior colleges, and degrees residential educational institutions.

The government invests 1 lakh 25 thousand rupees per year on each gurukula student. Meals are offered with rice at all schools and hostels, and free books and clothing are provided. Telangana's educational system has been transformed as a result of the initiative. The government has allotted Rs 7,289 crores for the phased building of schools in the state.

English instruction was made accessible in all state government schools, increasing enrollment in government institutions. Dropouts are declining and retention (continuing until the end of the academic year) is growing in the state's government schools, according to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan report.

The Telangana government's fundamental education development programmes, such as the mid-day meal scheme, little rice for dormitories, free books, distribution of two pairs of uniforms, 100 percent mess charges, and so on, have reduced dropouts and boosted school attendance. T-SAT focuses on school education through its network channels and teaches students through e-learning.

Mana Ooru-Mana Badi/Mana Basti-Mana Badi Program

The Telangana State Government introduced the Mana Ooru-Mana Badi/ Mana Basti-Mana Badi initiative, which saw a thorough improvement and upgrading of infrastructure amenities in 26,065 schools over three years in three phases, with a total budget investment of Rs.7,289.54 crores.

The programme includes the following 12 components: toilets with running water, electrification, drinking water supply, furniture for students and employees, and so forth. Painting the entire school, major and small repairs, green chalk boards, compound walls, kitchen sheds, new class rooms in place of old class rooms, dining halls in high schools, and digital class rooms in high schools were all carried out.

Initially, 9123 schools (35 percent of government schools) were taken up in Phase-I (2021-22), with an anticipated budget of Rs.3,497.62 crores. The District Collectors were in charge of the programme at the district level. Works were carried out through School Management Committees (SMCs) to ensure public engagement, transparency, and timely completion within the mandated financial limits.

Samagra Shiksha, ACDP, ZP & MP funds, MGNREGS, TSP and SCSP funds, NABARD and Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha funds were used for the program. To ensure transparency, the programme was monitored using end-to-end software that covered all administrative and financial procedures.

Digital Classes

The Telangana government has effectively addressed the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the realm of school education by implementing an alternative academic plan for the 2020-21 academic year.

Online classes were held for grades III through X from September 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. The SCERT has created 229 online textbooks in seven different media for pupils in grades I through X, which have been uploaded on the SCERT website. The website had 12.85 lakh visitors as of March 22, 2021.

The State Institute of Educational Technology has created and delivered 2180 digital lessons in Telugu, English, and Urdu Media via T-SAT and DDK channels for students in grades III to X for the academic year 2020-21. On average, 85 percent of students attended the digital classes.

The digital lessons transmitted by T-SAT Vidya and Nipuna channels were being uploaded to the T-SAT app for schoolchildren to view at their convenient time, and the T-SAT App has become the country's number one app with 1.2 million downloads.

Programs undertaken by the Department of Intermediate Education

The capacity of students at intermediate colleges is increasing by 10% per year, thanks to the outstanding initiatives taken by the state government.There are 1,96,421 intermediate first and second year students in the 2023-24 academic year.

Since the academic year 2015-16, the government has distributed books at free of charge to students at government junior colleges. The government has installed CC cameras and biometric equipment in junior colleges to monitor student and instructor attendance.

In light of the increasing pressures on students in today's highly competitive marketplace the government is working to prevent student suicides by employing student counsellors in every junior college.

The state government developed and provided a digital curriculum utilising the "pictorial method" in an easy-to-understand format for students. Psychologists were recruited to help students cope with stress during exams.

The government established the Board of Intermediate Grievance Redressal System (BIGRS) to resolve student issues via internet, app, Facebook, Twitter, and help desk. The government established seven new junior colleges following the creation of the state in Borabanda, Gajwel, Manoor, Sitafal Mandi, Birkur, and Mirpet.

The state government has designed and delivered digital curriculum using the “pictorial method” in a way that is easy for students to understand. Psychologists were appointed to reduce the stress of students during exams.

The Board of Intermediate Grievance Redressal System (BIGRS) was introduced by the government to solve the problems of students through online, app, Facebook, Twitter and help desk. After the formation of the state, the government established seven new junior colleges at Borabanda, Gajwel, Manoor, Sitafal Mandi, Birkur and Mirpet.

The state government has constructed 48 new buildings, 186 additional classrooms, 267 retaining walls, and 350 RV parks as part of infrastructure development. 18 new buildings, 14 more classrooms, and 4 retaining walls were built as part of corporate social responsibility.

The State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Centurion Skill Development University, Bhubaneswar, and several organisations for skill training and installation of quality education in vocational courses.

Department of Higher Education College education

Telangana's gross enrollment ratio for enrolment in government degree colleges is 36.2, which is higher than the national average. The state government's initiatives have resulted in higher education quality standards reaching the desired level.

The Ministry of Higher Education has taken steps to ensure that each Assembly Constituency has at least one Government Degree College. Following the establishment of the state, up to 15 new degree colleges were established.

Funds were allocated to construct new buildings for 34 Government Degree Colleges. The Department of Higher Education launched the DOST (Degree Online Services of Telangana-DOST) system in the academic year 2016-17 to conduct admissions at degree colleges in a more transparent manner.

The Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) and the Bucket System" were implemented to provide students with a diverse selection of disciplines to choose from. Admissions to government degree colleges increased by 68 percent as a result of course reforms.

The state government developed seven model degree colleges in educationally backward areas. Students' skills and employability were improved by the Telangana Skills and Knowledge Centre.

The state government established Entrepreneurship Development Cells to encourage students in degree and postgraduate colleges to launch their own enterprises and ventures. The government has implemented Jignasa, a project-based method of instruction for students at degree colleges.

Contract lecturers and guest lecturers, in addition to permanent staff, provided academic teaching services in degree colleges. The number of faculty members has gone up from 450 previous to statehood to 1,940 as of March 31, 2023.

About 96 colleges were awarded ISO accreditation for adhering to the highest quality standards in the academic year 2019-20, which was extended for another three years.

The college education department has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with a number of national and international groups to work on educational and research projects. The higher education department is also taking help from famous foreign universities.

The Department of Higher Education is working with Telangana Sahitya Akademi on the project "Mana Ooru - Mana Charithi" for documenting the history of villages.

The British Council is collaborating to study short-term certificate courses at the University of Glasgow as part of the "Student Study Tour to UK" scheme.

About 15 deserving students would be chosen to participate in this programme. Five female students would be chosen from government degree institutions, six female students from social welfare degree colleges, and four female students from tribal welfare degree colleges.

Technical Education

Following the establishment of Telangana State, 17 new buildings were constructed at a cost of Rs.127.33 crores for the purpose of the Technical Education Department. Around 12 new government polytechnic colleges have been established, four of which are for women and one for ST boys. As a result, the enrollment in government polytechnic colleges has increased from 10,760 to 12,300.

The state government has regularized 390 Contract Lecturers and 129 Contract Workshop Attendants. AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), Cyber Security, Data Science, Cloud Computing, LOT, CSIT, Software Engineering, Network Computer Science, and Business Systems courses, which are gaining popularity as emerging technologies, were introduced at the state's engineering colleges.

After the formation of the state, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Colleges were built in Sircilla and Vanaparthi. JNTUH University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences was established in Sultanpur, Sangareddy District, in the academic year 2021-22.

The Government has issued directives for the establishment of two Government Junior Colleges at Manuguru, Ranga Reddy District, Maheshwaram, and Bhadradri Kothagudem District.

AI, ML, cyber security, cloud computing, and big data courses were introduced at the Government Institute of Electronics in Secunderabad. All Technical Education Department and Government Polytechnic College offices are linked via e-office, and the file processing process is transparently managed.

To encourage discipline among students and staff, the state government also implemented an Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system at all polytechnic campuses. The grading system was implemented to decrease the psychological stress generated by grades among students.

The On Screen Digital Evaluation System (OS DES) system was developed for the evaluation of answer sheets in diploma examinations. Diploma courses are currently adopting an open book approach.

The Technical Education Department's reforms enabled a 39 percent improvement in diploma course examination results.

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