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CSR Can Help Ensure Better School Infrastructure

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The Uttarakhand government has sought help from the corporates of the country to help out with school infrastructure of the state. According to a report published by Hindustan Times, the state government will approach corporates like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Hans Foundation amongst others to provide financial assistance through the corporate social responsibility route. In June, the high court had warned of imposing a financial emergency in the state, if the conditions of the basic amenities in government schools were not improved. The state is, therefore, scrambling for assistance in filling the holes in the infrastructure by the end of this year.

Corporates like Mahindra and Mahindra, GAIL, Bharat Petroleum work in the education sector as part of their CSR initiatives. Building classrooms, separate washrooms for boys and girls, providing books for the library, improve overall infrastructure of the schools in different parts of the countries are a few activities that are executed. According to the HT report, Uttarakhand has nearly 17,022 government schools in primary, upper primary and secondary level which need Rs 900 crore for maintenance.

The infrastructure of schools is directly related to health and sanitation, as well. 74.2 % of the schools in the country are government aided. In a 2015-16 report of Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), 98.2% of the primary schools all over India are reported to have washrooms for girls, but how many of these are functional should be the primary concern of the state governments. Schools having a handwashing facility near the toilets are 51.94%. Schools having electricity connection are 49.2%. The absence of these basic necessities can lead to many diseases among the students and further affect their education.

Many schools having computers as a subject, are yet to have a practice session with the machine. In the reports by UDISE, it can be seen through a comparative analysis of the yearly reports, that the number of schools with various facilities is increasing. For example, the percentage of schools having kitchen shed, boundary walls and playgrounds has gone up. Why, then, can we not see these facilities in the state-run schools?  

Education is one of the major attraction for investment, for the CSR projects of various corporate giants. But the focus needs to be more on the infrastructure and the process of provision. When the basic amenities will make it through to the children, there can be hope for the government sponsored schools to provide quality education.

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Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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