Schools in the state have very poor sanitation facilities according to the latest school sanitation ratings – an index of schools’ sanitation and hygiene standards – released under the National School Sanitation Initiative. None of the schools from the state that voluntarily signed up for the ratings has scored in the top category, with the majority falling into the “needs immediate attention” category where adherence levels were below 33% of the norms.
The initiative, launched by the human resources development ministry last year along with the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, is open to any school in the country. Awards were given to the best performing schools in the capital on Wednesday.
While 58 schools in Maharashtra signed up for the online ratings, none scored in the top colour score of green (above 91% adherence to norms). Six schools scored blue (75% to 90% adherence to norms) seven schools have scored yellow (50% to 74% adherence to norms), nine schools have scored black (34% to 49% adherence to norms). The majority of schools are in the lowest end of the spectrum, scoring red (below 33% adherence to norms). The entire ratings list is available on the sanitation portal.
“I had no idea about this. It is very surprising,” said Neelam Malik, director of Arya Gurukul School in Kalyan, which was rated red. “Just last week when they sent us our affiliation upgrade, the board remarked on the high standards at our school.”
Only seven schools have top scored with green, including those from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
Schools had to respond to an online questionnaire and were then judged on parameters such as safe drinking water, separate girls’ toilet and waste disposal among other things. In total, 910 schools have been rated on the sanitation portal.