Drinking water, toilet, boundary wall & playground indices too paint sorry picture of elementary education in State
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 14: Schools are supposed to be temples of learning, but the average elementary educatiol institution in Assam is a dingy, ramshackle structure without electricity, toilets and many other infrastructural facilities even 69 years after the country’s Independence. And without a good school infrastructure as a necessary condition, there is no way Assam can aspire to improve learning outcomes for its young.
The kind of importance previous State governments should have paid to improve elementary education has been consistently missing.
State government records show that infrastructure is abysmal in many schools of Assam. Of the 47,814 LP, MV and ME schools, as many as 37,911 schools still don’t have access to electricity. According to records, 34,464 LP schools, 259 MV schools and 3,188 ME schools have no electricity.
Similarly, there are many schools lacking in other infrastructural indices as well. There are of 4,108 LP, MV and ME schools without drinking water facility, of which 3,556 are LP schools. There are 1061 LP, MV and ME schools without boy’s toilet, while 424 schools lack girl’s toilet.
Then there are 34,638 schools in the State without even boundary walls, which indicates clearly the lack of security for tender-aged pupils.
In an era setting so much in store by holistic education and all-round development of young learners, there are 20,808 schools in Assam without playgrounds.
When the Central government is pushing to make drinking water facility available in all schools, Assam cuts a sorry picture.
The present BJP-led State government needs to fast-track development of physical infrastructure in elementary schools, or else it will make a mockery of the Centre’s flagship Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme.