NEW DELHI: Over 22% of schools are running from old or dilapidated buildings, 34% do not have separate rooms for every class and 54% did not provide mid-day meals as per the stipulated menu, according to a survey by India’s apex child right’s body.
The audit, carried out for a two-year period by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), surveyed 26,071 schools — both public and private —in 201 districts across 12 states.
More than a quarter of school toilets did not have no running water facility while 22% of them had cracks in buildings, said the survey carried out at Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha, Mizoram, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Chandigarh.
“Operating from an old, cracked, dilapidated building can be fatal. Immediate steps should be taken to ensure that the building is safe enough for the children,” it noted.
Nearly one in every five school was near railway tracks posing a major safety hazard for students and teachers alike, said the 38-page report titled ‘National Report Safe And Secure School Enviro National Report On Safe And Secure School Enviro 2019-20 Safe And Secure School Environment’.
Infrastructure, classroom safety, cyber safety, kitchen, health and hygiene, implementation of RTE provisions, premise and location and school mechanism against abuse were among the parameters that were taken into account.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said that while the survey results were heartening on some counts, there were some disappointments as well.
“For instance, we found that now most schools have separate toilets for boys and girls and most schools have play materials for children as part of Centre’s Khelo India programme, but the status of libraries was not good. In schools where the libraries were there, there were no extra books other than academic textbooks,” he said.
Only 39% of the surveyed schools had laboratories positioned as per the rules, while a major chunk of them did not comply with the standards.