As a part of their assessment, the social work department from Andhra University surveyed 11 government schools in Gajuwaka and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant areas. They have found that the school enrollment and the attendance has improved with the dropout rates being decreased after the implementation of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the construction of toilets.
The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has constructed toilets in 33 government schools in and around the plant under the Swachh Vidyalaya programme. Prof ABSV Ranga Rao from the department of social studies from AU has said that they have carried out their assessment study in 11 schools where the toilets have been constructed by the public sector units and have found positive changes like improvement in the attendance by 5%, the dropout rates being decreased by 7% and the enrollment being increased slightly. The education of girl students has also got a boost he mentioned.
However, the maintenance of the toilets is not up to the mark. The professor also reportedly said that, “The toilets are constructed under the CSR activity but annual maintenance charges are not included. There are no sanitation workers to clean the toilets. Materials such as liquid hand-wash or soap and toilet cleaners are also missing. Further, we observed overlapping of projects which reflect lack of coordination among the PSUs. At times, the same school is sponsored by two-three PSUs and are getting five-six toilets.”
According to the guidelines stated under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, there should be one toilet unit comprising of one lavatory and three urinals per 40 girl students and one toilet unit per 80 boy students. V Kamala, a research scholar associated with the assessment has said that, sometimes primary schools have more toilets than the high schools. She also said that there is a need to provide sanitary napkins and disposal machines in the toilets used by the girl students.
After this assessment, the team recommended the formation of a coordination committee with district collector being the chairman, to look after all the CSR related activities by the PSUs thereby reducing the overlapping of projects.