No water, dirty toilets in govt schools: RTI Forum Audit

No water to drink in government school, St Anthony's school,Bosconagar, Karnataka.

Dirty toilets, dry taps and labourers lounging about in school. This is not the condition of a small school in a nondescript corner of the country but that of a number of government run schools in the national capital.

An audit of 60 government schools conducted by 16 NGOs from the Delhi Right to Education Forum, has found that clean toilets and a regular water supply is something that children and teachers have to do without on a daily basis in the schools.

The audit, conducted on Friday as per the Central Information Commission’s order that all relevant information be made available to public on the last working day of every month, has also found that in many schools ongoing construction has become a major problem.

“This problem was seen mainly in schools in east Delhi. In some schools here, work had been going on for the last two years. Labourers had pitched tents and were living on the campus, making the school unsafe for small children,” said Saurabh Sharma, member, JOSH, an NGO working in the field of education.

The audit also highlighted the shortage of cleanliness staff in schools. The report states that most schools have hired sweepers on a contractual basis who are not under the direct control of the schools. Sweepers on contract basis have limited responsibilities, it states.

Another problem faced by various schools was the delayed receipt of funds for books, uniforms and other scholarships.

“If the money is paid to the families after months of the first day of school, the whole idea behind having this provision fails. The parents will have to borrow money for these items still and then pay off the loan at an interest,” said Sharma.

Schools in central Delhi, meanwhile, were found to be suffering due to lack of space. While the Right to Education Act mandates that schools must have a playing ground, most schools in the Jama Masjid area, did not have one.

Delhi education minister, Arvinder Singh, however, said that no such audit was carried out in any school and the toilets in Delhi schools were clean. Hindustan Times, however, is in possession of letters signed and marked by seals of school principals, agreeing to the findings.

According to sources, a letter was also sent to the schools in east Delhi by the office of the deputy director of education forbidding schools from letting such audits happen again.

Mallica Joshi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 03, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Let's stop the blame game and take care of the future of the nation i.e. our children , its high time that we really come up as a collective agency against all the ill done to them through devoiding them of the very basic amenities...lets raise a campaign on this...