More than 94% of schools in 13 districts of MP, including state capital Bhopal, are without electricity and lack basic infrastructure, a recent survey has found.
The study conducted by Child Rights and You (CRY) in 190 schools, including 141 primary and 42 secondary schools with 14, 983 students that include 7,153 boys and 7,786 girls, has found that there are “significant infrastructural gaps” in compliance of the Right to Education Act, 2009, even six years after the act was implemented.
The survey was conducted in schools in Chattarpur, Damoh, Indore, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Mandla, Rewa, Satna, Shehdol, Shivpuri, Umaria and Vidisha districts, a CRY release said.
More than 8% of schools have no toilets while in the remaining 49% of schools, toilets are unused, the study has found. None of the schools have housekeeping staff, the report said.
The survey says that 14% of schools do not have access to safe drinking water and hand pumps are used to draw water in most of the schools.
As many as 183 schools have no benches for students to sit on and most of the children sit on rugs and mats while some sit on the floor. In the remaining seven schools, three did not have sufficient number of benches. Out of the 44 schools that have boundary walls, in 25 the walls were either partially damaged or in a bad condition.
“It is mandatory for schools to have a separate kitchen to prepare midday meals within the school premises. But in 27% of schools, midday meals was either not being cooked inside a designated kitchen or did the schools did not have a kitchen space at all,” the release said.
More than 24% of school kitchens were in a bad condition and midday meals were not being served in 4% of the schools. Most of the schools surveyed, did not follow the prescribed menu, the study has found.
Less than 51% schools have no playground. Of the remaining schools, 72% have playground that are in a bad condition. Sixty percent schools have no rooms for headmasters while 91% have no staff rooms. In 26% of the schools, members of the management committee were not aware that they are part of the board.
“Our survey across 190 schools reflects the larger picture of state of school infrastructure in Madhya Pradesh,” says Soha Moitra, CRY regional director (north).
“Quality infrastructure and quality workforce have a huge impact on education and retention of students,” she says.
The state government’s first priority was to make the state literate, says minister of state for school education Deepak Joshi.
“We opened schools across the state to meet that requirement. As many as 10,000 schools will be electrified this year and a total of 1, 29,000 by the end of 2018 through solar energy.
“As many as 40,000 teachers will be recruited this year and we have created a separate fund for infrastructure. Water is a problem and we are trying to address the issue too.”
KEY FINDINGS OF THE SURVEY
94% schools without electricity
77% schools without water facility in toilets
96% schools without benches
77% without boundary walls
61% schools without a library
27% schools without kitchen space
5% schools are single teacher schools
89% schools functioning without a headmaster and with huge shortage of teachers.