Insufficient number of classrooms, unusable toilets, no playground

Fifty-three percent of Adi Dravidar schools are functioning without sufficient number of classrooms in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, according to a recent study conducted by Samakalvi Iyakkam, a movement for child rights.

The Samakalvi Iyakkam-Tamilnadu conducted the study on 90 Adi Dravidar Welfare Schools in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Vilupuram districts. In several places, as the boundaries were not clearly demarcated, the school premises were encroached upon and officials had not removed them, the study pointed out.

Talking about a school, A. Ambrose, Coordinator said, “We saw students belonging to different classes sitting in a single room where teachers took classes. But a good atmosphere for learning was missing in this school.”

About 30 per cent of school buildings were in a dilapidated state and only 25.6 percent were in proper condition. About 16.6 per cent of the schools do not have a parapet wall, which became a meeting point for anti-social elements and was also used as cattle shed. Of 90 schools, 57 had no playground.

Consequently, the students were unable to hone their sports skills. In several schools, students used the nearby land such as dry lakes or government poromboke lands as playground.

Chella. Selvakumar, general secretary said, “Even though the Supreme Court had ordered the construction of toilets in all government schools, the order was not implemented in schools meant for Adi Dravidar students.

We found the toilets usable only in nine schools. In 55 schools, they were not usable, while in about 26 schools the facility was not available at all.

The study also revealed that in 47.8 per cent schools students were sitting on the floor.

The enrolment of students also is going down every year with the appearance of many private schools in the rural areas, it said.

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