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| Last Updated:22/01/2014

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130 Salyan schools lack toilet

ekantipur.com, 19 January 2014

 

SALYAN: Four years ago, Sarita BK (name changed) was among the most regular and bright students of her class in Rastriya Secondary School Darmakot. But over the years the things have changed for bad to the 18 years old tenth grader. She misses her class every month and the absenteeism has hampered her education. In the lack of basic sanitation facilities, attending schools during menstruation period is almost impossible for her.

 

Sarita is not alone to face the hurdle in her adolescence, the gap between the need of biologically transforming girls and the lack of infrastructure in the school has visibly cost high to the vigour of the school-going girls. “There is neither a separate toilet nor the supply of water,” she said adding, “There is no alternative to stay at home during the menstruation period.” The record at District Education Office (DEO) in Salyan shows around 130 schools out of total 456 in the district do not have toilets at all. The situation of the separate toilets for the girls is even pathetic with just 35 percent of the schools having the facilities.

 

The DEO record shows the dropout and the absenteeism among the girls increases with their grades in the district and lack of girl-friendly toilets is one of the major factors for it. The drop which stands at 5.4 percent in the primary level is 6.4 percent in the lower-secondary and secondary level.

 

“Various studies have shown the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene facilities is one the leading factor for the high dropout and the absenteeism among the female students in the district,” said Ram Bandhu Subedi District Eduction Officer from Salyan. “Lack of toilet facilities apart, the short of water supply had added to the woes.”

 

A rough estimation of the DEO shows, around 80 percent of the existing toilets from the district are out of use in the lack of water supply. Even the schools from the Khalanga, the district headquarters, don’t have the proper use of the toilets in the want of water supply.

 

“There are many schools where students even have to bring drinking water from their homes,” said Tulashi Sharma resource person from the Gothiban Resource Centre from the district, adding the students from such schools are compelled to use tree leaves after defecation.

 

The problem has prompted the DEO to manage water supply along with the construction of toilets. The DEO is planning to add 34 girl-friendly toilets with the water facilities in the current fiscal year.

 

Like in Salyan the availability of sanitation facility is still a big challenge in the country, Data at the Department of Infrastructure at Department of Education (DoE) shows 23,862 (79.7 percent) of the 29,100 public schools have access to toilet facilities. It also shows that one toilet in one public school is being used by around 110 students, more than double the number as per government standards. The government standard is 50 students per toilet. The data further reveal that still over 30 percent schools don’t have separate toilets for girls, meaning that still over 1 million girls don’t have access to toilet in school.

 

DoE record shows the government needs to construct around 30,000 toilets in schools every year to meet the Millennium Development Goal of sanitation and hygiene by 2015. Presently, only around 8,000 toilets are constructed annually.

 

The Ministry has allocated Rs 500 million for the construction of the toilets this fiscal year and around 9,000 separate toilets have been constructed in the public schools since it started construction girl-friendly toilets in 2011.

 

(With inputs from our district correspondent Biplab Maharjan)

 


Source:www.ekantipur.com/the-kathmandu-post/2014/01/19/news/130-salyan-schools-lack-toilet/258370.html