Useable Toilet Facilities in Schools
Author: Desk March 30, 2017
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2016 is a provisional report based on sample survey. ASER has recognised progress in the availability of useable toilets in schools. As per ASER (Rural), 2016, 68.7 % of schools visited had toilet facilities that were useable on the day of the visit as compared to 47.2 % in 2010 and 3.5 % of the schools had no such facilities. ASER, 2016 has also mentioned that 43.6 % of schools were carrying out repair of toilets during the period from April 2015 to the date of survey in 2016. However, details of all these schools have not been shared with Ministry of Human Resource Development and it is therefore, not possible to verify this.
Under Swachh Vidyalaya initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, 4,17,796 toilets were constructed/repaired in 2,61,400 elementary and secondary government schools in a period of one year, thus ensuring that every government school has separate functional toilets for girls and boys.
The Government of India supports State Governments and UT Administrations for creation and augmentation of infrastructural facilities including toilets in government elementary and secondary schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) programmes. The requirement of infrastructural facilities in schools are worked out every year by the respective State and Union Territory on incremental basis depending on their need and priority and this is reflected in their Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B). Regular meetings are also held with representatives of States and UTs to monitor performance of infrastructure created in schools including provision and maintenance of separate toilets for girls and boys.
Since the inception of SSA in 2001 till 30.9.2016, 10.36 lakh school toilets have been sanctioned to States and UTs, out of which 9.69 lakh school toilets have been constructed.Since the inception of RMSA in 2009-10 till 31.3.2016, 19,800 toilet blocks have been sanctioned and constructed in States and UTs.
Under SSA programme, a School Maintenance Grant of ₹ 5,000/- per school (having upto 3 classrooms) and ₹ 10,000/- per school (having more than 3 classrooms), subject to the condition that the overall eligibility for the district would be ₹ 7,500/- per school, is regularly sanctioned in the Annual Work Plan and Budget of SSA of respective States and UTs. For secondary schools, under the RMSA an amount of ₹ 50,000 per school is provided as annual School Grant to the States and UTs. The school maintenance grant is utilized for the maintenance and minor repair of the school infrastructure including toilets.
The primary responsibility of maintenance of school toilets lies with the concerned State Government and UT Administration. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has advised all State Governments and UT Administrations to ensure proper maintenance of school toilets constructed under the Swachh Vidyalaya initiative to keep them functional and also to take steps to bring about behavioural changes among students and teachers through an intensive awareness campaign so that the schools toilets are properly used, and kept neat and clean. The Ministry has requested to the Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs) who participated in the Swachh Vidyalaya initiative to maintain the toilets constructed by them for at least five years.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has advised the Panchayati Raj Departments of all States to include the provision for construction of toilets and regular repair of the toilets in schools in the Gram Panchayat Development Plans. The Secretaries of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Panchayati Raj and Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of School Education and Literacy) have also jointly issued a letter dated 6th April, 2016 requesting all States and UTs to ensure the Gram Panchayats take the lead in convening meetings with the Parent Teacher Associations of the schools for regular cleaning of the school toilets and for the disposal of solid and liquid waste generated in schools.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.