The Department of Public Instruction has warned headmasters of government primary and secondary schools of strict disciplinary action with regard to provision of clean drinking water, toilets and other basic facilities.
A circular in this regard was issued by the Commissioner on September 11 following a ruling from a High Court division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and B V Nagarathna on September 5.
Hearing a PIL filed by A V Amarnath, the court has ruled that the government should not resort to any excuse in providing drinking water and clean toilet facilities in education department schools.
“It is the duty of all the officials who visit schools to resolve problems pertaining to drinking water and toilets and also troubleshoot any related problem with local means. The primary role to be played here is by school headmasters, who will be subjected to disciplinary action if they are found irresponsible and negligent,” the circular stated.
In a separate circular issued last month, the department had announced the celebration of ‘Complete Fortnightly School Maintenance’ programme, under which block education officers (BEOs) and deputy directors of public instruction (DDPIs) are the authorities liable for responsibility in case government schools are not provided with the facilities.
Under the programme, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan will give government lower primary schools and higher primary schools Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000 per year. The department will give lower primary schools Rs 1,500, higher primary schools Rs 2,500 and high schools Rs 3,500 in four instalments every three months. An amount of Rs 15 is being collected by high school students for maintenance.
According to DISE reports, 1,762 primary and secondary schools in the state do not have toilets, while 301 schools do not have drinking water.