Srinagar, Feb 7: A fresh survey has revealed that the J&K School Education Department (SED) is yet to achieve a 100 percent target of having separate usable toilets for girl students in the schools.
The findings of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2022 has revealed that only 53 percent of the schools in Jammu and Kashmir have a provision of separate usable toilet blocks for girl students. The findings have come to fore even as the J&K’s education department claims to promote girl education in the schools.
The survey has revealed that out of all the schools, around 23 percent of the schools completely lack the provision of having separate toilets for girls.
As per the national survey, 14 percent of the schools have constructed toilet blocks but remain locked the whole day thus depriving the female students of using the facility. “Around 10 percent of schools have constructed the toilet blocks for girls and remain open but are not in usable conditions,” the survey has revealed.
An official said the non-availability of separate usable toilet blocks for girl students in schools was a major concern as the situation was not comfortable for all the girl students enrolled in government schools. “The basic problem is that in most of the cases, the toilet blocks have not been constructed completely and these blocks are not in usable conditions,” the official said.
He said that in most of the schools, the toilet blocks remain closed for maintenance purposes as majority of the educational institutions do not have a class IV staff or a peon to clean the toilet blocks. “This is the reason why the toilet blocks, meant for girl students, remain closed. There are no people to clean the toilet or to ensure its maintenance,” the official said.
The official said the non-availability of peons and class IV staff in schools was the major reason for rendering these girls toilet blocks defunct. Besides the non-availability of usable separate girls toilet blocks, the survey has revealed the lack of computer facilities in schools as well. As per the survey findings, 71 percent of schools do not have the facility of the computer laboratory for the school children.
Also, the survey has revealed 16 percent schools are equipped with the facility of computers which are not utilised by the students. “The students in only 12 percent of the schools utilise the facility of the computer laboratory,” the survey has revealed.
The Project Director Samagra Shiksha J&K, Deep Raj, when contacted, said more than 90 percent of the schools have separate girls toilet facilities across J&K. “I don’t know anything about ASER and the basis of their survey but 90 percent schools are equipped with toilet facilities and among the left out 10 percent schools, eight percent are clubbed or are functioning from rented accommodations. We have no provision to construct toilets in rented schools,” he said.
He said the construction of toilet blocks was in full swing as around 850 toilet blocks were completed in the last seven months. “Be it girls or boys, no school will be left without a toilet facility,” he said, adding that the department has also constructed more than 500 toilet blocks for Children With Special Needs (CWSN), in government schools.