After flunking swachhta test, Punjab schools drop out this year
With two days to go, only 136 of the 28,990 state schools have registered for the national level awards; about 3,000 participated last yearpunjab Updated: Oct 29, 2017 21:52 IST
After faring poorly last year, Punjab schools appear to be staying away from the national-level swachhta (cleanliness) test.
Of 28,990 elementary and secondary schools in the state, only 136, which is less than 1%, have enrolled for the Swachh Vidyalaya Puruskar 2017-18 for ‘excellence in sanitation and hygiene practices’.
Though the school education department has asked all government and private schools to participate in the survey, the response is poor.
Barring Fazilka district, schools in other districts have not shown much interest. In Faridkot, Mansa and Taran Taran districts, only one school each has sent its complete entry.
“The education department has been telling schools to participate. Though 557 schools have got themselves enrolled on the national portal for the cleanliness rankings, only a fourth of them have completed the registration process. Detailed instructions were sent to field officials last month,” an official with the secondary education department told Hindustan Times, expressing dissatisfaction.
The state schools have just two days to send their entries, as the Union ministry of human resource development, which started the national rankings on cleanliness at district, state and national levels, had given two months, from September 1 to October 31, to states and union territories to register schools. Private schools have also been included this year.
The department officials are now hoping for some extra time.
In 2016, approximately 3,000 government schools had participated in the cleanliness test with 40 of them being recommended for the national awards. Of these, 22 were in consideration with the maximum number of entries being from Fazilka, at five.
The ministry selected 172 schools for national awards and three of them – one each from Patiala, Faridkot and Ludhiana – were from the state.
This time, the abysmal response has put the state among the foot-draggers from the start.
MHRD data shows that Punjab’s neighbouring states — Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh — have done only slightly better.
Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu taken the lead by ensuring that their schools participate in the survey.
The awards are part of the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya (Clean India, Clean School) campaign started by the Narendra Modi National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.