The smallest district of the hill state has not only got the distinction of having the highest literacy rate in Himachal Pradesh but is also way ahead when it comes to infrastructure in schools. All 769 schools in the district have separate toilets for boys and girls.
Besides better utilisation of funds, factors such as a special cell to monitor the construction work in schools and active involvement of local residents to keep things in order are responsible for the success.
Local residents also credit two-time former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and former education minister ID Dhiman for their role in ensuring infrastructure schools in their home district of Hamirpur.
The plan for separate toilets for boys and girls in school was achieved under the Saraswati Bal Vidya Sankalp Yojana of the previous BJP government.
The exodus of students from government to private schools is seen as a factor too. The lower number of students in government schools has led to access to better facilities.
“It’s a matter of pride for this small district that we already have achieved what the Centre is planning for the country,” says Inderjeet Singh, deputy director of education.
“Besides, we have special cells at the block level, headed by an official of junior engineer rank, to monitor facilities in schools,” he says, adding this year only two schools have sought special funds for renovating toilets.