Telangana govt to provide 50% reservation to local students at residential schools

The Telangana government has decided to provide 50% reservation to local students of residential schools in local constituencies.

SC Development and Social Welfare Minister K Eshwar said the aim is to increase enrolment at residential schools and prevent migration of students to other areas in search of seats. The decision was taken after it was found that hundreds of students had taken admission in residential schools in neighbouring districts or even at schools that were far away causing inconvenience to their parents, a majority of who are economically backward and cannot afford travel expenses.

“The Telangana government has established these residential schools to provide quality education, especially to the SC and ST children. There are nearly 4.8 lakh students in these residential schools now. Many students who graduated from these schools have got into IITs, NITs, IIMs, medical and dental colleges. Some have secured international scholarships. We want more children to enrol in these top-class institutions which are better than private schools. There is a lot of demand for seats in these residential schools and parents are sending children to schools even if they are far away but face problems travelling. We have received many requests from poor parents who are unable to bear expenses to travel on weekends to meet their children in the residential schools. Many MLAs have also suggested reservations to prevent migration and that is why we are providing 50% reservation to local students,” Eshwar said, speaking to The Indian Express.

There is a good demand for seats in the residential institutions which are operated by Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society due to the quality of education, top class infrastructure, food and other facilities in the hostels, and sports promotion. The residential schools were originally started by late chief minister N T Rama Rao in united Andhra Pradesh, however, it was after the formation of Telangana in 2014 that these residential schools were converted into institutions of excellence.

Since 2014, Telangana has opened 619 new schools including 104 SC, 62 ST, 192 minority, and 261 BC schools, while there are 19 residential schools for general category students. There are separate schools for boys and girls. While till 2014, there were just 1.45 lakh students, it has grown to nearly 5 lakhs students by 2020. Another 34,000 students are in 53 degree colleges, including 30 SC, 1 BC, and 22 ST colleges.

In exams, students of these social welfare schools have pipped students of top private and government schools. In the SSC board exams held in 2019, the average percentage secured by social welfare students was 96.03 while the state average was 92.43. In the Intermediate examination in 2019-20, the average was 89.38% while the state average was 68.86%. Eshwar said that the number of residential schools and colleges will be increased in the coming years so that each local constituency has at least one such school.

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