Boarding schools for SC/ST to change with times

BHUBANESWAR Inmates of residential schools, run and managed by the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development department in the tribal districts of the State, are slated for an improvement in terms of lifestyle.

If things go as per planned, the amenities in the hostels of these schools could include LCD TV sets with cable connection beaming a host of educative channels as well as steam cooking systems besides other things that boost the standard of living for the young students.

The department has chalked out a draft guideline on prioritisation of amenities to be provided to the boarders of the residential schools so that quality of education is matched by the ambience in which the students live.

The strength of boarders in the 4,695 schools run by the department stands at 3.90 lakh.

The prioritisation will be made in three phases and the first phase will include provision of cots so that no boarder is forced to sleep on the floor.

Wherever space is available, double-decker cots should be procured. The department has suggested that 80 per cent of the total allocation under the amenities head should be spent on procurement of cots.

The rest 20 per cent should be on blankets for the inmates.

There are plans for utensils, dual desks and even serving trolleys so that cooking at multiple locations within the school campus is avoided.

Resources from National Rural Health Mission will be tapped to procure long lasting insecticide nets to protect the boarders from vector-borne diseases.

Given the resource availability, LCD TVs should be procured for the hostels with DTH connection.

The channels that will be preferable will be news and sports-based ones and the likes of Animal Planet, National Geographic and Discovery.

However, entertainment channels are a strict no-no, as per the guidelines, since students may end up devoting more time to them.

The guidelines suggest use of solar-based emergency lights and even inverters and generator sets in the hostels.

If lack of conventional energy is not available, schools will have to think of getting small solar power plants for the energy source.

The set of guidelines also looks at water filter systems for supply of clean drinking water.

Places where excessive iron and fluoride contents are an issue, reverse osmosis systems can be explored.

The department has also called for use of improvised cooking systems so that “chullahs” are not used.

Instead of firewood-based cooking, steam-based as well as chullahs using rice husks should be promoted since this will lead to less emission.

It has already started the process of setting up solar steam-based cooking systems and if the experiment works, the same can be replicated.

Better conditions

■ The prioritisation will be made in three phases and the first phase will include provision of cots so that no boarder is forced to sleep on the floor.

■ Wherever space is available, double-decker cots should be procured.

■ There are plans for utensils, dual desks and even serving trolleys so that cooking at multiple locations within the school campus is avoided.

■ The guidelines suggest use of solar-based emergency lights and even inverters and generator sets in the hostels.

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Author: madhubaganiar

Madhubaganiar loves to write on social issues especially for downtrodden segment of Indian society.

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