All government schools in the state have to ensure toilet facilities for students on school premises by Oct 1, 2019. In a circular issued on Friday, the state government said it would hold the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) responsible if the compliance deadline is flouted.
The diktat comes in the wake of a recent report (2018-19), published by the state department of public instruction, which revealed that over 2,794 government primary schools had no toilet facilities for boys, while 1,288 schools had no toilets for girl students.
Similarly, at the high school level, as many as 153 boys’ schools had no toilet facilities while 64 schools lacked toilet facilities for girls. The state government, with the fresh order, hopes to achieve 100 per cent compliance in providing toilet facilities at all government schools.
After the publication of the report, which came as a huge embarrassment for the government, Chief Secretary TM Vijaybhaskar ordered the department to ensure availability of toilets at all government primary and high schools.
He also directed the department to utilise MNREGA funds by submitting a report to CEOs of zilla panchayat. Further, the commissioner of DDPI has ordered to create WhatsApp groups at district-level and provide updates on action taken at the ground-level.
According to the commissioner’s order, by October 1, DDPIs of each district have to submit an undertaking to the department about 100 percent compliance by ensuring toilets in all schools. “There shall be no government school in any district without a toilet facility,” the circular said.
If there are complaints about shortage of toilets in any of the districts after October 1, then the DDPI will be held responsible and disciplinary action will be initiated against them, reads the circular.
A senior official of the department said, “As we need to submit action taken report to the chief secretary, we have asked deputy directors of each district to submit district-wise, school-wise shortage report by August 30 and an undertaking ensuring that facilities will be provided by October 1.”