Pune, Aug 3, 2013: Only 7,355 of the 67,718 government schools in the state fulfil all 10 infrastructure indicators laid down by the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act. As many as 3,711 schools do not meet even 50% of the 10 RTE norms.
A report on the status of infrastructure in schools was released on Friday at a stock-taking workshop on RTE, conducted by the state education department at Balewadi. The data on RTE compliance was collected by the district education officers from every school in their respective districts and submitted to the state education department. The data was analysed by the education wing of Unicef.
The compliance, though, isn't uniformly poor, with many schools having at least four or five of the facilities. The report stated that indicators such as building (99.7%), one teacher for every classroom (99.1%), ramp (91.7%), separate toilets for girls (97.1%) and drinking water (97.8%) found over 90% compliance.
However, norms that found poor compliance were the provision of a headmasters' room (38.4%) and kitchen shed (48.2%). Indicators such as separate toilet for boys (87.4%), boundary wall (64.3%) and playground (69.3%) had a fairly decent compliance rate. Private schools performed fairly in most of the indicators (see box). However, poor compliance was observed by private schools for indicators such as kitchen sheds (2.3%) and ramps (26%).
The data provided was provisional and officers of the education department said there could be a slight change in the final compilation.
Unicef advisor Ganesh Nigam, who presented the data at the workshop, said all education officers in the state need to find reasons for the non-compliance of norms and also work out solutions. He said necessary help should be given to schools to meet all norms.
State education secretary J S Saharia, who was present at the workshop, said, "As far as infrastructure quality is concerned, Maharashtra has jumped from 17th position in the country last year to eighth this year as per the report of the Union HRD ministry. It suggests that there has been great improvement. However, I would like to see Maharashtra among the top two states." (Source: Swati Shinde Gole, TNN)