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In dilapidated condition, 36% Odisha schools 'lack' teachers, drinking water, toilets

By Our Representative 

A fact-finding study on the status of the compliance of Right to Education (RTE) in schools in Nuapada district of Odisha has revealed that majority of elementary schools don’t comply with basic norms set by the Right to Education Act 2009 and calls for a robust intervention to ensure its effective implementation.
According to the data of the school and mass education department, Odisha government, Nuapada district reported the highest number (896) school dropouts. This prompted the NGO Atmashakti Trust to do a fact finding study was conducted by with 68 elementary schools in the Nuapada and Komna blocks of the district to understand how far RTE is being implemented, whether its monitoring in the district and block level is done properly, and whether children, parents and members of school management committees know about the learning recovery programme.
The study found that 36 (52.94%) schools do not have required teachers, and 46 (67.64%) of them do not have classrooms as per RTE norms.
According to the RTE Act 2009, each school should have separate usable toilets for girls and boys and a safe and adequate drinking water facility. However, the revealed that 19.11% of drinking water facilities in surveyed schools are either fully or partially damaged, and 22.05% of schools do not have sufficient drinking water facilities.
Similarly, 8.82% of schools do not have a toilet, whereas 13.23% do not have a separate toilet for boys and girls. Even though there are toilets in some schools, 25% are not usable, and 42.64% are either fully or partially damaged.
As many as 14 schools (20.58%) have kitchen shades either fully or partially damaged, whereas one school is still operating without kitchen sheds, a condition made mandatory by the RTE Act.
When it comes to the compliance of other basic infrastructures such as the availability of playgrounds, school boundaries, electricity, and school ramps in schools, 76.47% of schools do not have a garden, 10.29% of schools still do not have a school boundary, 11.76% schools do not have electricity connection.
Further, the study found that 82.35 % of schools need repair due to their dilapidated condition and 66.17% of schools do not have a ramp for the differently abled children which has been identified as the main reason for the non-compliance of RTE in the district.

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