BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has extended the deadline for construction of toilets in schools to July 15 as it has failed to reach the target within the stipulated period.
The Government had asked all district Collectors to complete construction of toilets in schools by June 30 under the Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya scheme. Sources said while construction of toilets has been completed in more than 50 per cent of schools, work is yet to start in more than 1000 schools.
While construction of toilets has progressed in coastal districts, it is far behind the schedule in tribal dominated and Western Odisha districts. Of 58,412 schools, 8,196 do not have toilets for girl students while another 12,520 have dysfunctional ones which cannot be used. This means, 20,716 Government schools do not have fully functional toilets for girls.
Of 3,721 schools in Ganjam district, 1,218 do not have toilets for girls whereas another 585 have dysfunctional ones. Similarly in Nuapada, 667 out of total 1091 schools have no toilets for girls while another 112 schools have non-functional ones.
Of 4,385 Government schools in Mayurbhanj, 452 do not have toilet for girls. In Puri, Boudh and Bhadrak, all schools provide toilets for girls.
However, the problem is not limited to girls alone. In 13,452 Government schools, toilets for boys are not available while in another 9,040, such toilets are not in proper condition. Construction of toilets in schools has also not been completed in Puri, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts.
Since functionality and maintenance of sanitation and hygiene in schools are critical issues with serious bearing on quality of education and retention, the School and Mass Education Department will start verification of school sanitation facilities soon.