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With Poor Infrastructure, Lack of Facilities Govt Schools Perform Worst Across India: Report

Over two lakh schools do not have a library facility, nine lakh schools do not have functional computer facilities for the students, and over 11 lakh schools do not have internet facilities, states the Unified District Information System for Education Plus report for 2019-20.
With Poor Infrastructure, Lack of Facilities Govt Schools Perform Worst Across India: Report

Image Courtesy: Reuters

Over 6,000 schools across India do not have a building, according to the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) Report for the year 2019-20. According to the report, 6,465 schools do not have a building, 35 buildings have dilapidated buildings, while the buildings of 4,417 schools are under construction. The UDISE+ report provides detailed statistics of the infrastructure and facilities available at schools across the country.

As per the recent statistics, there are a total of 15,07,708 schools in India, out of which 10,32,570 are run by the Union government and state governments, 84,362 are government-aided, 3,37,499 are unaided private school, while 53,277 are run by other organisations and institutions.

Only 77.34% of government schools across the country have a functional electricity connection. For government-aided schools and private unaided schools, this percentage is slightly higher, at 84.23% and 89.23%, respectively.

While most schools have functional toilet facilities for both girls and boys, 10% of schools do not have hand wash facilities, leading to unhygienic conditions for the students. A total of 29,967 schools do not have drinking water facilities within the school premises. Even though all schools are supposed to conduct medical checkups for students, 2,67,074 schools did not do it in the academic year 2018-19.

Also read: Only 22% Schools, Govt and Private, had Internet Facilities in 2019-20

Even though 22,49,117 children with special needs (CWSN) were enrolled in the year 2019-20, only 20.66% of schools have functional CWSN-friendly toilets. Only 43.73% of the schools have ramps with handrails for children with special needs.

According to available UDISE+ data for the previous years, the situation has improved slightly, with more schools now having toilet and drinking water facilities, the schools in India, especially government schools, fail to be inclusive for the students who need it the most.

Across the country, 16% of schools do not have library facilities. Though 16% sounds like a small proportion, in absolute numbers it means that 2,40,007 schools do not have a library facility for the students.

Further, 9,47,959 schools do not have functional computer facilities for the students, in an era where everything is highly dependent on technology. Only 28.55% of government schools have functional computer facilities, while 61.54% of government-aided and 58.5% of private schools have functional computers. In Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, and West Bengal, less than 14% of schools have functional computer facilities.

The situation is much, much worse when it comes to internet facilities. A whopping 11,71,826 schools across India, that is, 87.72% of the schools across the country, do not have internet facilities. Only 11% of the government schools, 42.2% of government-aided schools, 50.16% of private schools, and 21.42% of other schools have internet facilities. 

It is clear that in most of the categories, the government-run schools perform the worst.  The share of education in the total Union Budget has continuously decreased over the past years. Even as the number of students dependent on public school education increases across the country, the Union government in the Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 reduced the allocation for school education by 8.3%, showing its apathy towards the sector.

Given that in most cases the infrastructure and availability of facilities is worst in the government schools, a lot of people from the poorer and marginalised communities who want their children to have access to a good education are forced to send their children to either government-aided or unaided private schools, increasing their expenditure for something which is a fundamental right of every citizen in the country.

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