Half of the schools in Karnataka have no toilets. In every fourth high school, girls have to share toilets with boys!
These shocking revelations are among the findings of a nation-wide survey on the condition of schools and schoolchildren conducted by an NGO ‘Pratham’.
Although the survey ‘Assessment Survey Evaluation Research 2009’ (ASER 2009) indicates a marginal improvement for Karnataka in a number of parameters, the State seems to have left this most primordial of needs to nature’s devices. The survey was conducted in October – November 2009 in 133 primary schools and 623 middle and high schools across both government and private schools in all 27 educational districts of the State.
The findings of the survey state that 51.9 per cent of primary schools in the State do not have usable toilets and a further 11.5 per cent do not even have the infrastructure. This marks a steep decline from a ASER 2007 survey, which stated that only a little over 10 per cent of the primary schools had unusable toilets.
Similarly, 48.7 percent of the middle and high schools in Karnataka do not have usable toilets with about 5.5 per cent of them not even having the infrastructure. Toilet facilities in high schools too have seen a sharp decline as ASER 2007 had put the number at around 20 percent.
But perhaps a more damning indictment of the infrastructure at schools in the State is the stark statistic that says that 42 percent of primary schools and 25 percent of middle and high schools have no separate toilets for girls.
In fact, the survey points out that only 35 per cent of the girls’ toilets are usable.
-51.9 pc of primary schools in the state do not have usable toilets
– 48.7 pc of the middle and high schools do not have usable toilets
– 42 pc of primary schools in the state have no separate toilets for girls
– 25 pc of middle and high schools in the state have no separate toilets for girls
For the whole of India, ASER 2009 reported that the percentage of schools with no water or toilet provision is declining over time. Water is available in 75% of government primary schools and 81% of upper primary schools. Useable toilets can be found in over 50% of government schools. Four out of ten government primary schools do not have separate toilets for girls. This number is lower for upper primary schools at 26%. About 12 -15% girls’ toilets are locked and only about 30 – 40% are useable.
Source: Kaushik Chakravarthy, Deccan Herald, 18 Jan 2010