Government schools fail the broom test

  • Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2014 14:25 IST

While schools here are taking efforts towards the Swachh Bharat mission, a visit to five campuses revealed that barring one in Sector 37, these schools were no model indeed on the cleanliness front.

A study in contrast

The government school in Sector 35-D is a study in contrast with clean corridors and filthy outdoors.

While dustbins have been placed in almost every classroom, the lack of bins in the playground explained the junk thrown around.

At first sight, the entrance appears clean. But, the parking area and its surroundings dotted with waste leave an unpleasant impression. Scraps such as chips packets and plastic bottles were lying under the water cooler in the playground. The school is currently functioning without a principal, and the vice-principal Rajan Jain appeared rather nervous when asked about the progress of the cleanliness campaign in the school. “Efforts are being made to ensure cleanliness at every level. Teachers deliver lectures during the prayer meeting every day to highlight its importance among students. The toilets are a lot cleaner than earlier.”

Blame game on at Khuda Lahora schools

The school authorities were unable to justify the filth around the water coolers, shabby toilets and the muck, and resorted to passing the buck.

Although teachers claimed to take measures to inculcate hygiene among students, they felt kids failed to understand the significance of the Swacch Bharat campaign.

Heaps of garbage had accumulated in the school’s play area where kids were seen enjoying on the swings, ignorant of the infections that might crop up due to improper disposal of garbage.

Urmila, a cleaner at the school, said, “While we clean and broom the campus at least twice a day, children create a mess in no time.”

A class-7 student said he knew he could get away with littering.

The statement highlighted the lack of strict implementation of the Bal Swacchta Mission in such schools located in rural areas, on the periphery of the city. The school principal was not available for comment.

The Government Senior Secondary School in the same village was no different. Principal Asha Rani was quick to instruct one of the cleaners to pick up the wrappers in the play ground where a sports meet was on when the HT team reached there.

The toilets had broken sinks and no water supply. However, the teachers were quick to respond that the Swachh Bharat Mission was a gradual process.

Sector-45 school no exception

Long congress grass, plastic bags and other wrappers marked the campus of Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 45-A. The single dustbin placed in the play area surely would not suffice the huge school. An appalling sight of a rehri dumped with garbage welcomed one at the entrance lounge.

Suresh Saini, sports teacher, said, “While various measures are being taken to emphasise the importance of cleanliness in schools and other areas, it takes a while to break a child’s habit.”

The toilets had wet floors, and foul odour emanated from them.The gatekeeper shared how six sweepers were on duty daily, but kids continued to litter.

The Government Model School in Sector 37 was the only school visited by the HT team that was discernibly clean.

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