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Improvement of School Facilities and Other Civil Works

 

IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES AND OTHER CIVIL WORKS

 

1.1         IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES

 

1.1.1            Community participation should be the only means of undertaking any civil works in improvement of school facilities.  Experiments in community participation under Lok Jumbish and DPEP in many States have been very encouraging and such experiments will be further carried out.  The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan would first of all try to mobilize resources under Rural Employment Programme and other developmental schemes for constructing school buildings. 

1.1.2  Each State must formulate a strategy for repair.  The community would have to come forward to maintain school facilities if any investment is proposed in a village. An annual support to the community for repair and maintenance is envisaged under the SSA. The upper ceiling is based on the actual need and the willingness of the community to contribute.  The money will be credited to the VEC. Community involvement is a must. The school infrastructure has to be well maintained. The Lok Jumbish Project has had significant success by adopting this procedure.  The expenditure will not be included for calculation of the 33% ceiling on civil works.

1.1.3  The allocation for civil works will not exceed 33% of the approved Perspective Plan. The ceiling of 33% would apply on the entire project cost based on the Perspective Plan prepared for the period till 2010. However, in the finalization of a particular year’s plan, provision of civil works can be made at a higher level depending on the priority assigned to various components of the programme.  However, in a particular year’s annual plan, provision for civil works can be considered upto 50% of the annual plan expenditure, within the overall project ceiling of 33%.

1.1.4   There are large number of schools that cannot be repaired under the available maintenance grant.  To facilitate the availability of funds for major repairs, civil works component allows major repairs upto Rs.150 crore per annum under SSA subject to the conditions  laid down in Norm No.7 (b).

1.1.5     FURNITURE FOR UPPER PRIMARY SCHOOLS - There is a continuous demand for providing furniture to children in schools for a more conducive learning environment, especially to address learning needs of geometry/geography/Science at upper primary level, where working on the floor poses severe challenges to children. The SSA Framework provides for Rs.50,000/- per new upper primary school for setting up school equipment. New schools therefore get an opportunity to buy some furniture. However, existing Government upper primary schools are often without facility of furniture. 33% of the total allocation under SSA is embarked for civil works. The average utilization for civil works during the last 3 years and sanctions for 2007-08, show a declining trend in civil work costs, which is likely to continue in the coming years, as more and more States saturate school infrastructure requirements. Analysis shows that allocations were less than 33% in many States in the AWP&B 2007-08. Therefore, wherever, the States/UTs’ have achieved substantial progress in filling up infrastructure gaps and the civil works requirement is less than 33% of the total district outlay, furniture to Government Upper Primary Schools @ Rs.500 per child as a one time grant can be given, provided the civil work ceiling inclusive of furniture for children, is not more than 33% of the district outlay. It is also mandatory that funds are not pooled and procurement will be done by the Village Education Committee (VEC), School Development and Management Committee or equivalent bodies for rural urban areas.

  (Ref. F 2-3/2005-EE-3 dated 29-8-2007)

 

1.1.6            The participation of the community in all civil work activities will be mandatory in order to ensure a sense of ownership and a departure from contractor driven approaches. Engagement of contractors will not be allowed under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. School Management Committees/ Village Education Committees/ Gram Panchayat Committee on Education will have to carry out the civil works activities through a transparent system of account keeping. The DPEP and Lok Jumbish Project have developed effective community based approaches for civil works. These will be mandatory in all Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan districts.

1.1.7  The principle of social audit could be accepted for minor repairs. The School Management Committee/ Village Education Committee could certify the maintenance and repair work undertaken in a school. For larger repair and maintenance as well as new construction, technical provisions will be followed. The technical provisions however, have to be totally demystified (as has been done under the Lok Jumbish Project) and the communities' right to know the cost parameters has to be fully respected.

1.1.8            Efforts to improve the school environment by addition of a few inexpensive internal and external elements will be made. New building designs developed in Lok Jumbish and DPEP would be adapted to promote child centred learning. Use of local materials and cost effective technologies will be encouraged. A civil works innovation fund will be set up in each State/UT to encourage experimentation with design. Repair and maintenance of buildings will be given the top most priority.

1.1.9            A large number of (more than 100) building designs for schools have been developed in DPEP districts. These designs, apart from being attractive, are child centred, functional and in tune with the new pedagogical concepts. The publication called "Building rural Primary schools" published by the Ed.CIL and the building construction manuals developed by the Lok Jumbish Project may be utilized by all the States / districts to develop their civil works plan. The States may make use of designs already developed under DPEP/ Lok Jumbish Project in their specific local contexts. Incorporation of child-friendly internal and external elements will be mandatory in all the new construction and repair works.

1.1.10           SSA will encourage use of local construction materials and low cost technologies. This would require a large amount of capacity building, including training of engineers and masons in these technologies. Apart from the Technical Resource Group of SSA, assistance of Resource institutions like HUDCO may also be sought for this purpose.

1.1.11          Civil Work innovation fund of upto Rupees 50 lakh may be set up by each State. This fund may be created from the State funds or funds provided for Research, Evaluation, Supervision and Monitoring.

1.1.12             Civil works under SSA should start with a proper assessment of the infrastructure requirement for each district. There need to be a school-wise compilation of physical and monetary requirements. The attempt should be to find out the minimum money required to provide adequate infrastructure to each school including repairs, toilets, drinking water, boundary wall, etc. Provision of additional classrooms is to be considered only after exploring possibility of repairs and double shifts. Once the total requirement for the district is obtained, one needs to find out how much of this requirement can be funded through the on going schemes and therefore what is the gap that is required to be funded through SSA.

 

1.2      DRINKING WATER AND TOILET FACILITIES

1.2.1               Provision of drinking water and toilet facilities is one of the basic requirements in a school. There are a number of studies now available to establish the contribution of these facilities in access and retention of children. There is almost a direct correlation between the drop-out of girls at upper primary level and the availability of sanitation facilities within the school. However, in spite of large scale provisioning of schooling facilities in the last decade, there is still a large gap with respect to toilet and drinking water facilities and it is unlikely that the gap with regard to toilet and drinking water can be fully met through SSA funds. Hence convergence with other schemes, specially of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India is crucial to achieve 100% coverage of such facilities.

1.2.2               Department of Drinking Water Supply in the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has got provision under Accelerated
Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) to cover rural schools with drinking water facility. Further, Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) provide toilet and urinals for rural schools. In this regard, there is a need to make a realistic assessment of the total number of schools to be covered at the State, district and village panchayat levels. The agencies responsible for implementing DPEP and SSA and drinking water and sanitation programmes will coordinate their efforts to ensure coverage of all schools.

 

1.3      Improvement of physical education and sports facilities

 

1.3.1               The importance of physical education in the curriculum for primary and upper primary schools cannot be over emphasized.  It has been recognized that exercise and play are crucial inputs into the overall physical and social development of children in the 6-14 year age group.

 

1.3.2            Traditionally in many states, inter-school, block and district level sports competitions were organized regularly by the State Education Department or the district level sports offices.  This tradition needs to be maintained & enhanced or initiated in all schools and all districts of the country.

 

1.3.3            Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) offers an opportunity for re-emphasising the important role of games, yoga and sports in the all-round development of children.  The Ministry vide D.O. letter No. F 2-3/2005-EE.3 dated 29/9/2005 has issued instructions regarding use of funds under Civil Works/Maintenance grant for adopting child friendly elements where possible, by providing for play facilities like swings, seesaws etc. in school compounds,  funds under innovative activities for promotion of Scouts and Guides activities and Panchayat, Block and District level competitions; and funds under School Grant for purchase or replacement of sports equipment at the school level as also for sport awards if necessary.

 

 

1.4      RESIDENTIAL HOSTELS FOR CHILDREN IN REMOTE AND SPARSELY POPULATED BLOCKS OF TRIBAL, DESERT AND HILLY DISTRICTS, UNDER SSA

 

1.4.1 Upper Primary Schools are provided as per State norms of distance and population. In some remote, sparsely populated areas, it may be difficult to set up primary/ upper primary schools due to the small number of children. Therefore adequate residential schools need to be provided at locations that can provide access to a group of small habitations.

1.4.2  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) provides for construction of school infrastructure as per State norms. States, by themselves do not have norms for hostels at upper primary level.  Therefore, under SSA the States would be allowed to construct residential hostels, for both boys and girls in the compound of existing Government upper primary schools, one per block, in the blocks which have a population density of less than 20 persons per square Km (remote and sparsely populated blocks of Tribal, Desert and Hilly Districts) as per KGBV construction norms, and preferably the design should be an inclusive one for CWSN as well.  Running costs of hostel facilities would be met by States through dovetailing with other schemes or from Innovative funds for girls/ SC/ ST children under SSA, as per norms approved by the EC of the State/ UT SSA programme. The civil works costs of the hostels will be within the existing ceiling for civil works per district.

(Ref.F-2-3/2005 EE-3 dated 29.8.2007)

1.5      Construction of buildings for KASTURBA GANDHI BALIKA VIDYALAYAS

 

1.1.1.     The KGBV scheme was launched in July, 2004 for setting up residential schools at upper primary level for girls belonging predominantly to the SC, ST, OBC and minority communities. The scheme is being implemented in educationally backward blocks of the country.  The Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya scheme has been merged with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in the XIth Plan with effect from 1st April, 2007.  The Scheme envisaged three models.

 

1.1.2       The States will develop their own innovative designs for KGBV buildings. The construction of KGBV can be done by the Programme Implementation Society.

 

1.1.               THIRD PARTY EVALUATION

 

Apart from strengthening its own set-up for civil works, the States should engage an independent agency to undertake the day to day inspection of the sites where construction work is being undertaken.  This agency should be in direct contact with the SPD/DPC office.  This would not only increase the efficiency of the engineering staff but also apprise the SPD/DPC office of the status of civil works as being executed at site.  The Third Party Inspection team and the proposed technical staff should also be asked to certify the quality of material being used for the construction activity.  Simple testing techniques should be devised and undertaken for testing the material at site.

 

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