528 schools in district have no compound walls, putting students at risk

Teachers of Government Higher Primary School in Kasaba-Bengre have an onerous task: to ensure that its 500 students are safe. Onerous because the school has no boundary wall, and a main road runs in front of it and the Gurpura river just five minutes of unhindered stroll from the school.

N. Shivaprakash, Co-ordinator, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Dakshina Kannada, said that of 931 primary schools in the district, 120 schools in rural areas and 408 in urban areas did not have compound walls.

An amount of Rs. 5.8 crore was spent to build compound walls in the 408 schools and the work will be completed by May.

“We have sought Rs. 17 crore for constructing compound walls for primary schools in rural areas in the year 2013-14,” he said. A decision on the proposal will be taken in September.

According to the Yearwise Civil Progress of Dakshina Kannada district under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), in the current financial year (2013-14), 13 classrooms are being built at a cost of Rs. 70.85 lakh.

Classrooms have vitrified tiles instead of red oxide floors as in other districts. This is possible as there is no middleman and no contractor involved with their consideration for profits and margins. The work is co-ordinated entirely by the School Development Monitoring Committee (SDMC), he said.

Also, 13 toilets for girls are being built at a cost of Rs. 15.6 lakh. In 825 schools, construction of toilets for children with special needs (CWSN) is in progress for an amount of Rs. 412.5 lakh. The toilets will have incinerators for disposal of sanitary napkins. The work is expected to be complete by August. “No other district has so many toilets for CWSN. This is a major issue,” he said.

Furniture for 23,628 schools is being readied at a cost of Rs. 118.14 lakh. A bench-desk set can seat five students. An amount of Rs. 1 lakh is being spent on schools that are 75 to 100 years old, said Mr. Shivaprakash.