Monday, May 6, 2013

Gujarat schools struggle to match RTE needs

Gujarat schools struggle to match RTE needs

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 12:42 IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
Three years on Study carried out at 506 schools in state suggests most of them unable to fulfil norms.
Of three government schools of classes I to V surveyed in Kheda district, none maintained the pupil-room ratio according to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education. Similarly, 100% of the 12 schools surveyed in Kutch did not maintain the ratio. According to the RTE Act, 2009, every proposed classroom should have a carpet area of 8 sq feet for every student, in addition to a 60 sq-foot area for teaching.

Of the three schools surveyed in Kheda, all the schools did not maintain pupil-teacher ratio.

Around 92% of schools in Kutch of the surveyed 12 schools also did not follow the ratio. The worse performance was followed by 89% of 9 schools in Vadodara district, 82% of 22 schools in Sabarkantha.

The afore-mentioned examples from a study conducted by NGO Janvikas at primary schools across Gujarat paint a grim picture of the quality of infrastructure based on RTE Act requirements. The study was conducted at around 506 primary schools in two parts – from classes I to V and from I to VIII – in eight districts of the state. Its aim was to ascertain the level of implementation of RTE norms.

Districts covered under the study include Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Kutch, Mehsana, Panchmahal, Sabarkantha and Vadodara, said director of Janvikas, Vijay Parmar. They inspected aspects such as pupil-teacher ratio, pupil-room ratio, midday meal, drinking water, sanitation, computer, library, as well as facilities for the differently-abled, separate toilets for girls and boys, existence of school management committee, members selected- elected by parents, decisions taken by school management committee.

“Of the surveyed schools, 22 schools did not have separate toilets. To our horror, we also found a teacher overseeing all students of classes I to V in Kutch. At other places, toilet blocks were constructed but they were unusable, for reasons such as not having a roof, distance from the school, to mention a few,” said Parmar.

The study further pointed out that 76% of the 82 schools surveyed in Ahmedabad did not have a separate shed for midday meal cooking. On the other hand, 138 of 146 schools in Panchmahals had separate sheds for the same.

The study suggests that 46% of the surveyed schools did not have facility for drinking water. In drought-prone Kutch region, 30% of the schools struggle to provide drinking water to the students, it found.

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