Programme aims at providing toilets and urinals in schools

A programme for ensuring adequate sanitation facilities in all government and government-aided schools in Kochi—Sustainable Comprehensive Hygiene Initiative@School—will be launched shortly, said P. Rajeev, MP.

The programme aims at providing toilets and urinals which would be student-friendly ones, especially girl-student friendly. Special toilets for differently-abled students would be set up in each school of the district.

Vending machines for providing sanitary napkins will also be set up in the schools as part of the programme, Mr. Rajeev said.

It is estimated that the programme would benefit over 75,000 school children of the district and require around Rs. 3 crore for implementation.

The project is being conceived as a joint effort of different sections of society to meet the primary requirements of government and aided schools where students from economically weaker sections study, he said.

The scheme would witness the management of aided schools, Parent Teacher Associations, Total Sanitation Campaign, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, civic bodies, corporate agencies and public sector undertakings coming together for supporting the school children, he said.

According to district education authorities, 259 schools in the district have to build additional infrastructure for providing sanitation facilities. Of these, 84 are in the government sector and the remaining in the aided sector.

Only 7 government schools require additional toilets as per the norm of one toilet for 120 students. These schools require one or two additional toilets.

In the aided sector, there is a higher need for toilets. It was reported that there was a shortage of sanitation facilities in 56 aided schools and additional toilets have to be constructed to fulfil the norms, he said.

It was also reported that 80 government schools require additional urinals. In the aided sector, 156 have reported shortage of urinals.

The data provided by the Deputy Director, Education, Ernakulam, indicated that the total requirement of urinals was 1970. Of this, 1601 are required in the aided schools, he said.

A monitoring committee consisting of the District Collector and senior officials of the education department will be formed for the purpose.

A system for timely maintenance of the facilities will also be put in place.

A website for the project will be launched for making the process transparent and allowing the public to post their views and suggestions, Mr. Rajeev told mediapersons.

An allocation of Rs. 1 crore from the MP fund of Mr. Rajeev will be made for the programme during the current fiscal. The funds for government schools is expected to be generated through Suchitwa Mission, local bodies and PTAs.

In the case of aided schools, the managements or the Parent Teacher Associations will have to meet half the cost of constructing new urinals and toilets. The rest would be raised from the MP fund and contributions from private and public sectors. A social auditing of the programme has also been planned, he said.

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