July 11, 2017
“I know it is illegal to let the school students touch the toilets but in my school me and the school kids clean the toilet because we dont have any other option” says a government-school teacher at Erode, who did not want to be named.
This comes in the wake of Tamilnadu School Education Minister Sengottaiyan’s announcement to set-up ten thousand toilets in government schools.
“I welcome the initiative. But we must also remember once constructed the toilets should be maintained well. We need water and sanitary workers to clean the toilets. In most cases no one is ready to do the job for a pay of Rs. 750 as the goverment has alloted” the government school teacher said.
Of the 37,002 government schools in Tamilnadu around 7000 schools do not have toilet facilities. Nearly,15.45 percentage government schools in the state do not have toilet facilities.
Absence of toilets in school directly affects the sanitation and health of the students. It also is one of the major factor that leads the students to drop out of school.
” Most of the schools in Tamilnadu have toilets but some in rural area do not have them. Construction of toilets is secondary . Maintenance is what is important now. Sanitary conditions of government schools must definitely be improved,” says S Vedanayaki, a retired government school Head Mistress in Coimbatore.
In such a scenario this announcement has been largely welcomed. It is important to note that Madras High Court had previously advised the Tamilnadu Government to ensure setting up of toilets in all schools before the academic year 2018-2019.