BENGALURU: Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Suresh Jumar held a meeting with CSR representatives of various companies and NGOs to discuss how they can contribute to the development of government schools, appealing to them to immediately help with flood-affected schools in North Karnataka. “School infrastructure is damaged. There are no toilets and students have lost their textbooks. We printed 11 lakh textbooks in three weeks but it is not enough. We need to work together to help them,” Jumar said.
Of 48 children from Karnataka who will be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020 interaction programme, 27 are from government schools, he said, adding, “They should also get a chance to write JEE, join IITs and be self-confident.”Corporate Social Responsibility representatives said the government should standardize the needs of the schools.
“We need a compendium of standards. For example, the size of classrooms, playground requirements, number and type of washrooms, fixed or movable furniture, etc. When we installed drinking water units in a school we faced problems with local electricians and plumbers who were not accountable. Hence, we need a baseline,” said Pratima Rao, Mission Director of Biocon Foundation. Another CSR representative underscored the need for involving the local community.
“When we built toilets in a school, some locals vandalized it, broke doors and came to drink, indulge in prostitution, etc. There is a need to involve the local people around the school such as taxi or auto drivers, parents, and priests so that they have a sense of ownership of the school,” the representative said. The suggestions put forward by CSR representatives included a reporting mechanism that would update them on how their projects are doing after they have taken off.