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63% govt schools in Maharashtra have no drinking water: CRY survey

Catch Team | Updated on: 24 January 2018, 19:42 IST
For representation only (Sajjad Hussain/AFP)

At a time when the Maharashtra government has declared that it planned to shut down 1300 government schools in the state due to low enrollment, a survey conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY) in collaboration with Bal Hakk Abhiyan found that the majority of state run schools lacked basic facilities and infrastructure.

For instance, one of the major revelations to have come out of the survey was that 63% schools were violating the Right to Education (RTE) Act norms that requires filtered drinking water to be available for students in all schools.

The RTE act defines availability of filtered water as potable water to be made available in all schools.

Mamta Sen of CRY said, “Of the surveyed schools, only one in eight had electric filters while the remaining did not have any provision for clean drinking water. Sixty-three per cent surveyed schools did not have any type of water filter. Only 13 per cent had electrical water filters. This is the case in the whole of Maharashtra. It is shocking.”

The report stated, “Non-availability of safe drinking water has led to health issues and absenteeism among the children. The government should take up provision of filtered water in schools as the highest priority.”

CRY conducted the survey in 122 schools in eight districts of Maharashtra. Around 11,300 students were surveyed in 122 schools in Pune, Ahmednagar, Gadchiroli Parbhani, Aurangabad, Latur, Beed and Mumbai.

The survey was conducted to check the compliance of government schools with the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

CRY conducted the survey in 122 schools in eight districts of Maharashtra. Around 11,300 students were surveyed in 122 schools in Pune, Ahmednagar, Gadchiroli Parbhani, Aurangabad, Latur, Beed and Mumbai.

Some of the other revelations say that 57% of the schools did not have a principal or head of school. It also found that in 69% of the schools, students and teachers themselves were responsible for cleaning the toilets and maintaining overall cleanliness since the schools did not have support staff for cleaning and maintenance.

The survey also indicated that 13% of schools did not have proper buildings and 37% did not have compound walls.

The survey was conducted on 10 indicators: school buildings, availability of teaching staff, training of teachers, availability of library, status of toilet facilities, availability of drinking water, availability of a separate kitchen shed, availability of a playground, any instance of admission denied to student and functioning of school management committee.

A member of the Bal Hakk Abhiyan said, “Education Minister Vinod Tawde had promised that he would ensure compliance of these 10 indicators, but that hasn’t happened. Hence, the quality of schools has not improved. Now the government plans to shut down some schools citing quality. It is a cycle,”

CRY has demanded that vacant posts of headmasters/headmistresses need to be filled immediately.  The report said that the survey helped in understanding the degree of compliance with the RTE Act at the grassroots level. “Similar surveys should be conducted by the government for the improvement of the quality of our schools.”

First published: 24 January 2018, 19:42 IST
 
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