50% rise in toilets for girls at schools across state
NAGPUR: The number of schools in Maharashtra having separate girls' toilet facility has doubled in the last nine years, according to data released by the Central government. The latest report by the District Information System for Education (DISE) mentions that 97.6% schools in state have girls' toilet, up from 47.5% in 2005-06. This is a clear cut result of strict implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act, that mandates certain infrastructural requirements in schools.
Nagpur: The number of schools in Maharashtra having separate girls' toilet facility has doubled in the last nine years, according to data released by the Central government. The latest report by the District Information System for Education (DISE) mentions that 97.6% schools in state have girls' toilet, up from 47.5% in 2005-06. This is a clear cut result of strict implementation of the Right To Education (RTE) Act, that mandates certain infrastructural requirements in schools.
DISE, a part of the Central government's National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), gathers different school-related data for the entire country and its figures are used in policymaking. For the last couple of years, the Maharashtra government has been using only DISE data to chalk out road map for the school education ministry. DISE, in its latest report, has released selected data from the academic session 2005-06 to 2013-'14.
While there is a marked improvement in constructing girls' toilets in schools, things lag behind in academic-related category. Only 50.6% schools in state have computers, up from 23.1% in 2005-06, which is a major impediment considering technology-assisted education is now being given the impetus. DISE data shows there has been a steady growth in number of schools procuring computers over the last nine years. But despite the growth, the gap is still quite large.
The RTE is a comprehensive Act focusing on both, academic and infrastructural requirements of schools. Infrastructure such as library, playground, boundary wall, drinking water, ramps for access to all parts of the building, etc are mandatory. To ensure compliance the education department issues an NOC every three years to schools, only after ensuring all required infrastructure is in place.
The DISE data reveals many schools in state are yet to catch up with the basic requirements mandated under RTE. So far, only 76.4% schools have boundary walls raising the security issue. An education official said, "This problem arises mostly in rural areas but now the government has sanctioned funds to complete the projects."
Only 82.5% schools have a playground which is a big hurdle in physical development of kids. To work around this problem, the government has decided to allot public grounds to such schools so that kids are not deprived of physical activities. The reason such schools cannot be closed down is a fair share of them happen to be government schools and are located in rural areas. The schools are surrounded by hutments or other houses thus leaving no space for a playground. The next round of data is expected to be released by DISE in a few months.
50.6% schools in state have computers
76.4% schools have boundary walls
89.2% schools have ramps
99.3% schools have drinking water
32 is the student-teacher ratio
14% upper primary schools/section have computer aided learning lab
94.1% schools have library
82.5% schools have playground facility
77.7% schools have handwash facility near toilets
97.1% schools (govt and aided) provided midday meals