Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday said that the state is aiming to achieve 100 percent literacy in the next five years.
Addressing a function to mark Teachers' Day in Vijayawada, he called for sweeping changes in the education system by strengthening the government schools and improving the enrolment rate.
Noting that the rate of illiteracy is higher in the state, he underlined the need to make it zero. "While the national average illiteracy rate is 27 percent, our state stands at 33 percent which is not a good sign and with the government initiatives and your commitment we can bring down the rate to zero percent," he told the teachers and officials.
He said that teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the children by laying a strong foundation on moral and ethical grounds.
Stating that his government started many path-breaking schemes to improve the standard of education, the chief minister said the goal can be achieved only with the active participation of teachers.
He said 'Amma Vodia', fees reimbursement and paying Rs 20,000 annually for hostel and mess charges were some of the initiatives from the government to encourage enrolment, but it is the teacher who has to mould the child as a responsible citizen.
Jagan said the infrastructure of government-run schools will be improved in three years. The government will make public a pictorial comparison of the schools before and after the renovation.
"We have to go in for the active participation of parents in the child's education with periodic interaction with teachers besides converting all government schools into English medium schools which will draw the attention of more and more parents towards government schools," he said.