India

Schools without toilets: Take action within a month, HRD ministry tells state

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THE MINISTRY of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has asked state governments to take action within a month to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in schools still not having these. The orders say targets have to be met to “realise the goal of Clean India by October 2, 2019.” States have been urged to give impetus to Swachh Vidyalaya campaign under Swachh Bharat Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The MHRD has told states to report back by May 31 on action taken.

The orders, dated April 18, from the department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD, say that all states and UTs must fill gaps in availability and functionality of toilets in schools and meet the norms of Right to Education Act (RTE) for having separate toilets for boys and girls and safe and adequate drinking water facility in all recognised schools, including private and aided ones.

The MHRD has also released data of government schools still without toilets or dysfunctional toilets across the country. As per the District Information System for Education (U-DISE) data, still there are 20,908 schools without girls’ toilet and 28,833 without boys toilet across the country.

From the region, 100 government schools in Haryana, 43 in Punjab, 867 in Jammu & Kashmir and three in Himachal Pradesh are still without girls’ toilet.

167 government schools in Haryana, 1,300 in Jammu & Kashmir, four in Himachal Pradesh and 117 in Punjab are still without boys’ toilet.

The highest number of schools – 7,915 – are without girls’ toilet are in Bihar followed by 4,672 in Madhya Pradesh. The maximum 8,969 schools without boys’ toilet are also in Bihar, followed by 5,735 in Madhya Pradesh.

As per the data for dysfunctional toilets in government schools, there are at least 81,872 schools across the country where girls toilets are dysfunctional and 90,113 in which boys toilets are dysfunctional.

From the region, the number of government schools where girls toilets are dysfunctional are: Haryana (1,187), Jammu & Kashmir (1,374), Himachal Pradesh (741) and Punjab (803). Number of schools where toilets for boys are dysfunctional are: Haryana (1,132), Jammu & Kashmir (1,391), Himachal Pradesh (540) and Punjab (802).

The state with the highest number of schools with dysfunctional toilets for both boys and girls is West Bengal- 17,077 (girls) and 12,886 (boys).

Prashant Goyal, director-general of school education (DGSE), Punjab, said, “In most of our schools which are listed in category of not having toilets, there are toilets but they are dysfunctional beyond repair. We need to construct new ones. We need Rs 2 lakh for each school (one set each for boys & girls). Funds have already been demanded from water supply and sanitation department. We are hopeful of covering all pending schools this year. Funds for maintenance of toilets are also inadequate and thus repair is pending in some schools.”

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