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3 AP schools get centre of excellence tag

Source : Times of India
July 19, 2012

HYDERABAD: In a belated but welcome move, the state government has finally accorded recognition to three of the oldest residential schools in AP by upgrading them into centres of excellence. The decision, announced through a GO on Friday, would immediately facilitate funds to the tune of Rs 20 crore for infrastructural and educational upgrades at these institutions.

Among the oldest in the state, the residential schools in Kodigena Halli (Anantapur), Sarvail (Nalgonda) and Tadikonda (Guntur) were once the pride of AP but lost their glory after the state government opened residential schools in every district. And, after the special status awarded them was withdrawn these schools were reduced to being just three more residential institutions in AP.

But, now, the state government seems to have realized the contribution of these schools in churning out students of academic and professional merit. And, by way of paying tribute to that inspiring past, the department of school education has declared that these three schools are to be upgraded into regional centres of excellence.

Till the corporate culture caught up, all the top ten ranks in the SSC exam were invariably bagged by students from these three schools. While Kodigena Halli school was set up in 1970 for the students of Anantapur, Kadapa, Kurnool and Chittoor districts in the Rayalaseema region, Tadikonda was established in 1972 for the Andhra region. The school at Sarvail, this one for the Telangana region, came up in 1971.

According to sources, the school at Kodigina Halli has produced at least 30 IAS, IPS and other all-India service officers. Some of the alumni of these schools are professors in IITs and reputed universities in the US and other countries.

There is no count of the doctors, engineers, scientists and software professionals among the old students of these schools, the sources said.

V Venkateswara Rao, the IFS officer who died in a Taliban suicide bomb attack in Kabul in February 2010, was an alumnus of Kodigena Halli.

And what is more, in an unusually quick move, the department of school education released Rs 28.60 crore for these institutions keeping with the new tag which they have earned on Friday itself, soon after declaring them as centres of excellence. Each school can maintain a strength of 480 students with 12 sections.

"Students from all districts in a particular region can seek admission to their regional centre of excellence. All Telangana students now are allowed to write an entrance test for admission into the Sarvail school while students of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra are eligible for admission to the Kodigena Halli and Tadikonda schools, respectively," said Rajeswar Tiwari, principal secretary of school education. The money would be spent over a period of 6 years to improve infrastructure and library and laboratory facilities, he told TOI.

"Effots will also be made to recruit experienced and meritorious teachers in these schools," he added. According to Tiwari, the government is planning to conduct admission tests for admission to these schools on the lines of the system in place for Navodaya. Till then, admissions will be conducted on the basis of the marks obtained by a student in class four, Tiwari added.


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