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| Last Updated:18/02/2014

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Lessons in hygiene yet to be taught to many school students

M.K. ANANTH, The Hindu, 18 February, 2014


Survey reveals lack of sensitisation measures on using toilets


NAMAKKAL: Twelve NGOs attached to WASH Network – working in the areas of sanitation, hygiene and solid waste management conducted a survey on the condition of 519 public and 489 government schools toilets in 13 Municipalities, 24 Town Panchayat and 36 Village Panchayats in 10 districts in Tamil Nadu.


S.L. Sathiya Nesan, of LEAF Society that spearheaded the survey, told The Hindu that the survey was conducted in the beginning of this academic year. “According to the Right to Education Act, the toilet ration for students is 1:25, 1:35 and 1:40 for students of primary, middle and high schools.


But it was only 1:158 in those schools. 29,590 students of 89 schools (with toilets) defecated in the open, as they were yet to be sensitised on using toilets”, he added.


“On the positive side students of 449 schools have been trained in washing their hand.


But only 137 schools had soaps for this purpose”, he said. Among schools it the survey was conducted in 1,623 toilets used by 2,56,975 students in primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools in urban, rural and tribal areas.


“Students were made to clean the toilets in 102 schools along with sanitary workers or separately. A total of 228 schools enrolled differently abled students but 92 percent of them did not have toilets for such children. 431 schools did not have separate facilities that could be used by girls during menstrual sickness”, he noted.


The survey stated that 459 of the total of 519 public toilets surveyed by them did not have provisions for differently abled persons.


An equal number of toilets did not have provision for children. Toilet pans were not in good shape in three per cent of the public toilets. Septic tanks of 244 toilets were damaged and 70 other tanks were over flowing.


District Collector V. Dakshinamoorthy told The Hindu that steps have been taken to carry out repair and maintenance works in school toilets.


“Condition of public toilets in the district will be studied. Necessary steps will be taken to maintain them and to add facilities for differently abled persons and children”, he added.


Chief Education Officer of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Namakkal, S. Gobidoss said that schools have been instructed not to use children for cleaning toilets.


“Sixty-six toilets were constructed this year while 150 more will soon be constructed”, he added.