“Your child’s education is my responsibility...No matter what you must study and leave the costs to the Government... Never fret that financial conditions are not supporting your education... I stand as a guarantee for your education,” these are the statements made by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy time and again, reassuring parents and children about continuing their education from the very beginning.Education, the Chief Minister says is the only asset we can give to change their lives.
In a bid to change the education system the Andhra Pradesh government is spending crores of rupees on students for their golden future. The current AP government under the leadership of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is aiming to make education available to everyone in the state irrespective of their caste, gender, or financial background.
A bouquet of schemes has been introduced to incentivize parents and students for taking up education and not having to abandon their studies at any point in time.
1: Amma Vodi Scheme: Under this scheme, mothers belonging to marginalised sections of the society will be receiving Rs. 15,000 as an incentive to send their kids to school.
2. Jagananna Vidya Deevena: Under this scheme, the government seeks to cover 100% of college fees of students beyond Intermediate. The amount is directly transferred to the mothers’ accounts making them accountable for their child’s’ education.
3. Jagananna Vasathi Deevena: Under this scheme, the government will be covering the cost of accommodation for students coming to the cities from villages for higher education.
4. Videsi Vidya Deevena: This is a scheme that extends financial aid to students who wish to pursue higher education from abroad.
5. Nadu-Nedu: This is one of the most radical schemes that aim to improve the standard of education in Government schools by revamping school infrastructure including classrooms, drinking water, hygienic toilets, and recreation facilities along with an English language lab to facilitate learning of the language and adapt to the new medium of study.
6. For the nourishment of the students the Jagannanna Gorumuddha, YSR Poshana were introduced with a set menu that is changed every week ensuring that they get quality food and the right nutrition.
7.And the Vidya Kanuka scheme is meant for students to purchase uniforms, notebooks, bags and shoes before they head back to school.
Each scheme is uniquely designed for students in such a way there is all-round development. Education department officials and teaching staff are ensuring that these schemes are implemented as per the vision of Chief Minister YS Jagan. During the course of his 14-month-long padayatra, YS Jagan had highlighted Amma Vodi as one of the flagship schemes of welfare governance under the rubric of Navarathnalu. He pointed out that it was important for the government to step in with the required support to arrest the dropout rate of students and conversely drive up the enrolment.
Just as he had visualized, YS Jagan rolled out Amma Vodi after assuming office and the results are there for all to see. Enrolments have already seen a spike in government schools. Extending the scope of the benefits of Amma Vodi to intermediate students has widened its reach and has targeted more families. In the years to come, Amma Vodi will be seen as a path-breaking initiative in the realm of education by any government in the country.
In the sidelines of these schemes specially meant for improving the quality of education, let us see a few stories of marginalized families who have benefitted and educated their children.
----Parvati’s family lives in a small house in the Tadithota area in the Rajahmundry district. Parvathi ekes out a living by ironing clothes and manages to educate her two children. She lost her husband four years ago and the burden of managing the house and children had fallen on her shoulders. Just when she was thinking about her children’s education, YS Jagan had taken charge of the government and the welfare schemes were announced which put all her worries to rest. The educational schemes, especially Amma Vodi, were god sent and she now sends her two children to school with Rs 15,000 financial assistance.
The scope of the Amma Vodi scheme has evolved and the benefits of the scheme has been expanded not only to school children but also to Intermediate students( Class 12) now. Her son Bhubaneswar who was left in dire straits whether he could complete his education after the death of his father is now in intermediate college thanks to the Amma Vodi scheme. This boy’s story is a testament to the change in parents who send their children to work instead of school as they cannot afford to pay fees due to several circumstances.
----Another inspiring story from Rajahmundry whose lives have transformed due to the welfare schemes is that of Ramalakshmi’s family. While she works as a tailor, her husband works as a laborer and the couple has two daughters. Earlier Ramalakshmi used to think that it was difficult to educate her daughters, but now they both are happily studying in school all thanks to the benefit of Amma Vodi.
Welfare schemes are a boon to millions of families who are struggling to make ends meet through small livelihoods. Poor families are now inclined toward sending their children to schools thanks to the educational schemes. The number of school-going students is on the rise and significantly the number of dropouts is declining which is clearly a healthy change.
----Sabbella Lakshmisri who hails from Koppavaram village at Anaparthi mandal in East Godavari district is currently finishing her final year of Engineering. The girl, who is studying with her younger brother in a private college in Visakhapatnam, got a job in a leading corporate house even before completing graduation. The girl stated that thanks to the Vidya Deevena and Vasathi Deevena schemes implemented by the YS Jagan government had supported them, especially during the COVID pandemic when their studies almost came to a standstill and so did their financial situation.
Vidya Deevena scheme is envisaged to reimburse students' fees.While during Chandrababu Naidu’s regime in the past where the reimbursement was paid in a staggered manner, under the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government the entire fees are being reimbursed which makes it a unique scheme. In connection with the above scheme, the Vasathi Deevena was promulgated to help poor students who had to pay hostel fees. Students who stay in hostels far away from their parents are given an amount of Rs 20,000 every year for their expenses there removing the burden of hostel and mess fees from the parents.
----Veera Venkata Satyanarayana of Komaripalam village at Bikkavolu mandal in East Godavari district runs a local grocery shop. He has two sons and both of them are bright and intelligent. While one is studying Engineering the other is pursuing graduation in Computer Applications.
At a point in time when they wanted to pursue higher studies, Sathyanarayana was worried about how to pay high fees for their professional courses. But at the right moment, the AP government education scheme is helping him tide through the tough situation and both the boys are studying courses of their choice. Sakshi TV spoke to Satyanarayana's youngest son Vignesh, who is studying in a hostel in Rajahmundry when he came home for a holiday. He said thanks to the Vidya Deevena and Vasathi Deevena schemes have taken care of their needs without his parents facing any financial difficulties.
There have been instances of parties making lofty promises for people’s welfare in their manifestos during election times and later forgetting them. But that is not the case with the YSR Congress Party and YS Jagan who has been fulfilling all the promises made during the Padayatra and says that he will continue to do so and earn the affection of the people.
Within a span of one year of taking charge as the Chief Minister, YS Jagan changed the face of the education system in Andhra Pradesh. Crores of amount was spent on these path-breaking schemes like Nadu Nedu, Amma Vodi, Jagananna Vidya Divena, Jagananna Vidya Kanuka and Jagananna Gorumudda.
The path-breaking schemes, which are a part of the Navaratnalu Manifesto, were formulated keeping in mind three aspects namely educational standards, infrastructure, and welfare of the children's education in the state. These schemes have set forth a different story altogether and have been well received by the people. The endeavour of these schemes and that of YS Jagan was to ensure students were better prepared for a better future. This has struck a chord with the parents as well as the students...