Over 20,000 school children surveyed schools and anganwadis across 16 states.
Jasleen Kaur | May 6, 2011
School children from 16 states across the country were out to demand their rights. Children demanded the fulfillment of the Common Minimum Programme which promised to commit 6percent GDP to public spending on education and 3percent on health.
Over2 0,000 children along with Wada Na Todo Abhiyaan, World Vision India, Institute of Human Rights Education, People’s Action for Rural Awakening and National Coalition for Education rated 3,677 schools and 3,810 anaganwadis in ober 1,000 villages across 16 states. The evaluation was based on infrastructure standards of these institutions.
The campaign had been titled "9 is mine".
It was intended to ascertain how well the budget allocated for education and health at the level of infrastructure is being used for primary education and integrated child development services under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and ICDS.
The survey revealed that only 10 percent of Anganwadis under the ICDS are of good quality. Out of the 80percent Anganwadis which have weighing machines only 14.42 percent are operational. And out of 64 percent of Anganwadis which have drinking water facility only 9.57 percent qualified for good.
Under SSA only 18.16 percent schools qualified as good. Here, 77 percent of schools have drinking water facility but only 13.83 percent are considered good. Only 62 percent schools have separate toilets for girls but a little over 13 percent are in good shape. Accessibility in these schools was also not encouraging as only 51 percent have ramps but only 8.33percent are considered good.
Pinki, a class tenth student from Uttrakhand said, “In villages there are no separate toilets for girls and many of them drop out because of this reason. Most of the schools do not have classrooms and those who have they are in really bad condition. It’s a sad state.”
In the survey schools were judged on the basis of permanent building, classrooms, separate toilets, drinking water facility and ramps. And in Anganwadis, along with building they looked for food storage facility, drinking water facility and availability of weighing machines.
Renuka, a class eleventh student from Andhra Pradesh said that schools in her village declares holiday whenever it rains. “There is just no place for students to sit like in urban schools. Most of the schools do not have enough teachers and there is high drop out because of that.”
The students also discussed the problems like class and caste based differences they face in schools.
Pinki said, “Many students do not register themselves for the scholarships as they fear that other students will tease them and teachers will behave differently.”
From the findings of the survey, a report named ‘Then Your Promise, Now Our Right’ has also been prepared. These children believe that only increasing the budget is not the solution. They want the government to work on creating awareness of child rights. But they also feel that UPA should at least spend the percentage of GDP it promised.
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