04 Jul Where children use waste paper to write notes!
P. Yesu Babu (name changed), a Class III student of MPP School at the tribal village of Boddu Mamidi in Paderu mandal, gathers waste papers, but he has no intent to make paper boats or rockets out of them. He takes them to school and uses them to write notes.
Not just Yesu Babu, hundreds of students studying in the MPP and UP schools in the Visakhapatnam Agency, which function under the purview the Director of School Education, face trouble owing to paucity of notebooks.
Call it lack of provision or some other reasons best known to the authorities, the fact is that the students do not get supply of notebooks. And most of the students manage with slates, while others use waste papers. Statistics with the education officials in Paderu suggest that there are 1,015 MPP and UP schools, where hundreds of students from Class I to Class VIII have been facing trouble.
“Students do not have good writing skills and the cause can be attributed to non availability of notebooks. Given the situation, the teachers too do not give students homework,” says Viswanatham, an education official from Paderu.
Poverty and illiteracy
It is no secret that people in the Agency are in abject poverty. Hundreds of hamlets do not even have stores selling notebooks. Residents say that tribal people need to walk miles to buy notebooks.
“Most of the people are illiterate and belong to the BPL category. Awareness on education is poor. For them, buying notebooks is beyond their affordability,” observes S. Upendra, a resident of Paderu.
Given the situation, the education officials say they manage to get some notebooks from donors, which means the availability is at the mercy of charity.
“There is no provision of supplying notebooks to MPP and UP schools functioning under Director of School Education. They receive textbooks only. It is good to see many citizens, NGOs and a few others come forward to donate notebooks for children,” says Paderu Sub-Collector Venkateswar Rao.
He says that more than 1,000 schools in the Agency running under Tribal Welfare Department do not have issues pertaining to notebooks.
Meanwhile, Seshagiri Mantri, Director of Vinayagar Promoters and Builders, has donated about 2,000 notebooks worth ₹50,000 for the tribal students recently. “It is great to see children happy. There is a need of almost 2 lakh notebooks for the students in the Agency. I started with 2,000 books this year and would like to create awareness about the scarcity, so that more donors can chip in,” he says.
DEO (Paderu ) Jyothi says that several donors, including HPCL, Visalandhra, and a few schools from Visakhapatnam, have come forward to donate notebooks or other essentials for the students.