T.V. Sivanandan

53 per cent of primary schools in Gulbarga division do not have electricity connections

33 per cent of SSA funds earmarked to provide basic amenities and infrastructure to schools

GULBARGA: Despite claims made by the Government about improving infrastructure in government schools, the ones in Gulbarga division still lack basic facilities.

According to official figures available for the six education districts — Gulbarga, Bidar, Koppal, Raichur, Bellary and Yadgir — 65 percent of primary schools do not have separate toilets for girl students, and 36 per cent do not have common toilets.

Despite the fact that temperatures shoot to more than 43 degrees Celsius during summer in the Gulbarga region, 53 per cent of primary schools in the division do not have electricity connections.

Even today, 29 per cent of primary schools here do not have drinking water facility, 52 per cent do not have playgrounds, and 61 per cent do not have compound walls.

Every year, the Government spends crores of rupees on improving infrastructure, and 33 per cent of the allocation under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is supposed to be spent on providing basic amenities and infrastructure in schools, particularly primary and high schools.

Last year, the six education districts in the division were allocated a total Rs. 180.97 crore under the SSA and, of this, 33 per cent was spent on providing basic amenities and infrastructure in government schools.

During the current year, allocation under the SSA went up to Rs. 227.74 crore, of which 33 per cent will be spent on creating basic infrastructure in schools.

Apart from the SSA funds, the Government provided funds for the implementation of the recommendations of the Nanjundappa committee report and under regular budgetary allocations for improving infrastructure in schools.

The official figures speak of the woeful condition of primary schools in Gulbarga district where the dropout rate is the highest in the State.

While 41 per cent of 1,291 primary schools in Gulbarga district do not have common toilets, 81 per cent do not have separate toilets for girl students. Twenty-seven per cent of primary schools in Gulbarga district do not have drinking water facility, and 54 per cent do not have electricity connections. Fifty-two per cent of schools do not have playgrounds.

The situation is equally bad in Bidar district where 77 per cent of the 1,081 primary schools do not have separate toilets for girls, and 40 per cent lack common toilets. Forty-one per cent of primary schools in the district do not have drinking water facility, and 55 per cent do not have playgrounds.

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