Over 42,000 government schools across the country do not have drinking water facilities, while more than 15,000 schools have no toilets, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank stated in Rajya Sabha on March 18.
His written statement read,“As per Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE+), 2018-19 (provisional), out of 10,83,747 total number of Government schools in the country, 10,41,327 Government Schools have Drinking Water Facility and 10,68,726 Government Schools have toilets.”
On the question of whether Government has set any time bound targets to provide drinking water and sanitation facilities in all the schools, the Cabinet Minister said that States and Union Territories have been “repeatedly advised” to ensure that all the schools, including those under the non-Government sector (private, aided schools, etc.) in their jurisdiction should have provision for separate toilets for boys and girls; and safe and adequate drinking water facilities for all children.
The Minister informed that the Department of School Education and Literacy has launched an Integrated Centrally Sponsored Scheme for School Education – Samagra Shiksha with effect from 2018-2019. Under this scheme, the written response stated, “States and UTs are supported for strengthening of existing Government schools, and for creation and augmentation of infrastructure facilities including drinking water and toilets as per proposals received from respective State/UT.”
The scheme, as per Ramesh Pokhriyal’s answer, also provides for an annual recurring composite school grant varying up to Rs. 1,00,000/- per annum depending upon the number of students, for all government schools, out of which at least 10% is to be spent on activities related to Swachhata Action Plan for hygiene and sanitation.
The answer may be read here:
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