Gujarat data on provision of toilet, drinking water facilities in schools unreliable: CAG

Gandhinagar: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has debunked as "unreliable" the information provided by the Gujarat government on availability of toilet facility and of drinking water at primary schools in rural areas, saying the data needs to be "investigated" as it concerns implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

 Gujarat data on provision of toilet, drinking water facilities in schools unreliable: CAG

CAG Shashi Kant Sharma. IBNLive

CAG had conducted 'compliance audit' of 14,797 primary schools in ten districts of Gujarat, run by Panchayati Raj institutions in rural areas, besides undertaking joint field visits at 300 elementary (primary) schools to check implementation of RTE Act in relation to infrastructure and human resources.

In total, Gujarat has 31,545 primary schools being run by Panchayati Raj Institutions.

The compliance audit was part of the CAG report on local bodies in Gujarat for year ended March 2013, which was tabled in the state Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

As per the report, the Gujarat Council of Elementary Education (GCEE), responsible for creating infrastructure in such state-run primary schools, claimed that all schools under them have a separate toilet facility for boys and girls, which is necessary as per the RTE Act.

"However, during joint field visits of 300 schools, it was noticed that separate toilets for boys and girls were not available in 26 schools (9%)," the report said. "Thus, the data maintained by the state government was unreliable and needs investigation, as this could result in students being deprived of this basic amenity as required under the RTE Act," said the auditor.

The report said though each school is receiving a maintenance grant towards the upkeep of infrastructure, including toilets, "during field visit, it was noticed that in 45 schools (15%) the toilets were in unusable condition, and in 35 schools (12%) water was not available in toilets."

Interestingly, CAG had noted in a report, tabled by the state government in the House on Tuesday, that more than 5,000 Anganwadi centres in the state did not have toilets as of the last year.

In the report presented today, CAG has pointed out that the government data on water facility is incorrect and could result in students being deprived of this basic facility required under the RTE Act.

"According to GCEE, all the elementary schools in the state were having drinking water facility. However, audit observed (during February-June 2013), that drinking water was not available in 17 schools out of 300 schools visited. Thus, the information available with state government is incorrect" the CAG report said.

The federal auditor also noted that water purifiers were not provided at 105 schools (35%) and among schools provided with purifiers the devices are not working in 53 schools.

CAG also said that some schools are functioning without their own building, which is completely opposite to what GCEE claimed.

"As per GCEE, Dodhi Nes Primary School in Junagadh was functioning in its own school building. However, during the field visit, it was noticed that the school was functioning in a temporary shelter. Another school in same area was found running under a tree," as per the report.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2014 18:34:11 IST