RTE report card on unavailability of drinking water facility, barrier free access marks north Goa schools in red

Panaji, June 15, 2013: Playgrounds, or the lack of it, unfiltered drinking water and unavailability of barrier free access for physically challenged children have emerged as major hurdles in the report cards of infrastructural facilities available in 24 north Goa schools.
The report has been prepared by the directorate of education (DoE) as part of the first round of feasibility reports to grant recognition to the institutes under the state right to education rules.
Of the 24 schools spread across Bicholim, Sattari and Bardez talukas covered in the report, seven do not have any playground facility on offer to students and additionally, three institutes either utilize open spaces owned by private parties or the local municipality for physical activities. A couple of other schools only have a volleyball court within their campuses.
Right to Education rules of the state require that schools prove the availability of all basic infrastructure facilities recommended by the act in order to merit a certificate of recognition from the state. "We have to see the practicability while implementing the RTE Act. Shutting down non-compliant schools may mean denying education to many students. But we will ensure that henceforth no school is granted permission until they have all the recommended infrastructure in place," additional director of education Anil Powar said.
The government and aided schools covered by the directorate so far show that four schools provide tap water for drinking to students and two schools provide plain steel filters as against electronic water filters.
Interestingly, while responding to the RTE survey, authorities in an Aldona-based school wrote against the criteria safe drinking water: "students bring from home." In schools where electronic filters are available, they are terribly inadequate to match the students' requirement in the school. In a Bardez school, for instance, only one filter is available for students of the 32 classroom strong institute.
Seven schools have made no provision for barrier-free access for physically challenged children and two institutes have no separate rooms for head teachers.
A government institute in Mauliguem in Bicholim taluka covered by the survey neither has a playground, barrier free access or a separate room for head teachers available. More importantly, the school does not have a single toilet available for its students. (Source: Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN)

15-06-2013 | Posted by Admin