In a bid to improve the basic facilities provided by most government schools, volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party visited a number of city schools and inspected amenities available to students, like toilets, electricity, water supply and security.
When HT visited some of these schools along with the volunteers, the schools were a picture of dilapidation and neglect.
While schools had the requisite number of toilets, the cisterns were broken, door to toilets were broken or missing, cubicles flooded with water and open garbage dumps could be seen adjacent to the toilets.
“It is extremely saddening to see that children study under such inhuman conditions. The toilets are non-functional, doors are missing making their use extremely unsafe for girls and hygiene conditions in the washrooms are terrible. Children will fall sick if it continues like this,” said Ranju Minhas, an AAP volunteer, who has a Masters degree in Education.
A walk through these schools paints a general picture of disrepair. The window panes of classrooms remain broken and unattended making children susceptible to the cold weather.
The principal, however, is quick to defend the dilapidation, attributing the same to ongoing repair work.
“We have recently got all the repair work done. The toilets are in very good condition and students face no problem whatsoever. The repair work is still on and the lack of maintenance is because the winter holidays are on. Before the students return, it will all be back in shape,” said a staff member of the Kautilya Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Chirag Enclave.
In October, last year, 11-yearold Roshan Lama died after a stray javelin pierced his head in the city’s Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Government Senior Secondary School in CR Park. The school, however, seems to have learnt little from that episode. Today, high voltage switchboards lie unmanned and uncovered and manholes stare exposed making the students prone to accidents. The water tank that is the main source of water supply for the entire school is clogged with muck, making the water contaminated and unfit for consumption.