HYDERABAD, December 16, 2011
Dalit students get a raw deal in HPS
Decision to revoke boarding facilities to underprivileged students faulted
The iconic Hyderabad Public School (HPS) which also happens to be the
alma mater of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has been doling out
a raw deal to its Dalit students for two years, through its decision
to revoke boarding facilities.
The school's decision to withdraw hostel accommodation for the
Plus-One and Plus-Two admission holders has forced students from
underprivileged sections to stay in State-run social welfare hostels,
thereby affecting their study quality and performance to a great
"Conditions in social welfare hostels are appalling. We are given a
diet of low quality rice and watery sambar, and crammed into a hall
with many other students. Due to this, we are unable to study
properly, though the school we are in is one among the best in the
country," says Suresh (name changed), a Dalit student from Plus-II.
Till Class X, these students stayed in HPS dormitories, each
accommodating four members.
Apart from good food and health care, one more advantage was in the
daily preparatory classes held by teachers.
Performance of all the Dalit students has reportedly declined when
compared to their Class X results.
There have been instances where scorers of 70 per cent in Class X
exams failed in almost all subjects in Plus-I.
Students also claim that from the previous batch of Plus-Two, nearly
50 percent of the Dalit students failed to clear the exams.
Many of them are from poor households outside Hyderabad.
"If we fail to perform in the board exams, it will ruin our chances of
admission into higher learning institutions," rues another student.
The school provides statutory quotas in admissions for SCs and STs,
and the students are totally sponsored by the Social Welfare and
Tribal Welfare departments respectively.
But according to reports, the number of Dalit students in Plus-I and
Plus-II does not exceed seven percent nowadays, as opposed to the full
quota up to Class X.
The reduced numbers are attributable to lack of hostel accommodation
which is forcing many to join elsewhere.
Boarding for these two classes was withdrawn two years ago, reportedly
after a brawl in the campus. However, school authorities attribute it
to the decision to offer accommodation from Class III onwards instead
of the Class V earlier.
President of the Telangana SC and ST Parents' Association K. Venkata
Swamy contended the same and questioned why the same decision was not
being implemented in HPS, Ramanthapur.
Representations were made to many, right from the principal to the
Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha who himself had been a
student of the school, but to no avail.
When contacted, Principal R.S. Khatri, while not divulging the numbers
of Dalit students and their pass percentages, claimed that many are
opting out after Class X, seeking education in corporate colleges. He
ascribed the decision to withdraw hostel accommodation to the Board of
Board of Governors
Principal Secretary for School Education D.Sambasiva Rao, who is the
Board's chairman, however, said he was not aware of the decision.
Incidentally, the Board has MP G. Vivekanand, Vice-Chancellors of
Osmania University and JNTU, and two to three IAS officers among its
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