The last time Sarita Kumari, a resident of Kalyanpuri, went to her daughter’s school in the same locality, she was informed that the six toilets in the school are functional and clean.
But Kumari’s daughter Meena, who studies at a government secondary school, regularly complains about the pathetic state of sanitation facilities there.
In an order passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Wednesday, parents and NGOs have been given the right to inspect the infrastructure available at the school.
“This is a very important order as it will enable us to compare the ground reality with what the school claims to provide,” said Saurabh Sharma, member, JOSH, an organisation working in the field of education. Following the recent order, the Directorate of Education (DoE) sent out a circular in October 2011 which forbade NGO workers or citizens to enter schools without permission and also said that no one would be allowed to conduct any inspection or interaction in school.
On Wednesday, however, Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit ordered that schools will have to present all records to the parents.
“I direct the DoE to issue fresh circular giving lists of both records and the physical facilities which can be inspected by any citizen,” the order says.
Dixit, however, made it clear that the information seeker shall not be free to question the school authorities about infirmities or inadequacies at the time of inspection.