Friday, May 24, 2013

Toilets are a must for every school


Recently, the Supreme Court has ordered all the schools to provide basic infrastructure in less than 6 months. For more info - Toilets must in all govt schools.

It means that we still have no proper basic infrastructure in our schools or educational institutes even after 66 years of independence. Central and state governments are pumping money through several schemes every year; but where is the fund going (into scams)?

Well, here I would like to jot down some experiences since my childhood –
Being a student of a government institution, I can explain the conditions first hand. The school which I studied in was an aided school, but the standards were equal to any other govt school. I can’t find words to explain the condition of our washrooms. It was more horrific than any horror movie I have seen. We used to consume less water in order to avoid going to the toilets. We never dared to complain about the situation to our school management (as they already knew). For them, all that mattered were taking classes and completing the syllabus which, in themselves, were big challenges.

Coming to some local private schools - they collect five to six hundred rupees as fee from each student per month, but the basic amenities are not up to the mark. I worked as a teacher in a private school; the school has a big building but devoid of  playgrounds or campus area. The school has good strength with four hundred plus students. Pupils often fight among themselves during intervals or break times. If you say it is quite common for fights to break out over petty issues in every school, you would be surprised to know the reason here. They fight for toilets! The school has constructed just three washrooms for 400+ students. Being a co-ed school, there’s only one toilet for boys, one for girls and the third is for the staff. 

Private schools have at least three washrooms with 200:1 ratio, but there are some govt schools which are running successfully without toilets in the school campus. Here, I draw the example from one of my friend, Mrs.Shyamala, an SGT (Secondary Grade Teacher) at a Govt Primary school, near LB Nagar, a few kilometers from Hyderabad. “Children are sent to their homes to answer nature’s calls, but students, especially girls, coming from faraway places have to reign in their bladders till evening.  Though we repeatedly asked the area MEO (Mandal Revenue Officer) and sent letters to DEO (District Education Officer) to sanction funds to construct toilets, the response is not satisfying”, she sadly explained.
Well, it's ridiculous that we teachers have to train girl children on how to control their bladders in order to avoid nature's calls. I appeal to actress, Vidya Balan , to produce an ad to show the importance of sanitation not only at home but also in the school.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A school on the foot path


It seems strange when we hear about schools on the footpaths; but there are some schools running successfully this way, educating the kids of poor families. One such school is ‘Alpha school’, located near Jubilee Hills. The school caters to the underprivileged children with primary school education for free of cost. Parents of these children work as maids in the nearby bungalows and some work as laborers at construction sites.
The school has no pucca roof but a small shed on the footpath to shelter the kids from sun and rain.

The school emerged from the thought of a woman, Ms.Shoba Rani. The school is running successfully with good number of students and teachers for 12 long years.

An age old saying, “Helping hands are better than praying lips”; truly implemented by Ms.Shoba Rani. Daily we pass by so many kids on the roadside, feel pity for them or blame the government, but hardly think of any instant solution. This is a live example to solve things in possible ways…