Study Reveals Alarming Infrastructure gaps in Odisha Schools

CSOs urge the government to take immediate intervention to address the critical infrastructure gaps

Bhubaneswar: As many as 75.86% (5421) elementary schools in Odisha do not possess a playground, depriving students of physical activity opportunities. Furthermore, 75.68% (5408) of schools also require a minor or major repairing, undermining the norms and standards stipulated in the RTE Act, revealed a study titled “State of School Infrastructure in Government Elementary Schools in Odisha,” which was conducted by Atmashakti Trust, in collaboration with Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha (OSM) and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha (MSMO). The study encompassed a comprehensive analysis of 7,146 schools from 98 blocks and 1 Urban Local Body (Bhubaneswar) of 17 districts in the state.

The findings of the study are alarming, highlighting a staggering non-compliance with the norms outlined in the Right to Education (RTE) Act. Some of the most concerning findings include:
● 8.7% (623) of the surveyed schools have no source of drinking water, depriving students of a basic necessity. Out of 6523 schools, where there is a source of drinking water facility, 3.66% (239) of schools suffer from severe structural damage, thus not usable.
● 73.85% (5,277) of schools do not meet the classroom facilities criteria set by the Right to Education (RTE) Norms.
● 8.13% (581) of schools lack space for a kitchen, impeding efforts to provide nutritious meals to students. Furthermore, 5.68% (373) schools with kitchen space are fully damaged, exacerbating the situation.
● 13.42% (959) of schools do not have toilets, while 18.2% (1,301) schools lack separate toilets for boys and girls. Moreover, 3,197 schools have toilets without any water facility, undermining proper sanitation practices. In addition to that, 860 toilets are fully damaged.
● 32.26% (2,305) of schools do not have an electricity connection, impeding the use of technology and hindering effective teaching methods. Not only that, 51.25% (3662) schools also do not have computer facilities
● 32.66% (2334) of schools lack a boundary wall, compromising security and safety on school premises
● 29.12% (2081) schools do not have a library which is crucial in promoting reading habits, independent learning, and research skills among students.
● Not only the school infrastructure, even 55.89% (3,994) of schools surveyed do not have the required number of teachers as per the mandated PTR norms in the RTE Act.

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