By Yogima Sharma, ET Bureau | 5 Nov, 2014
NEW DELHI: In what could be a pretty demanding Children's Day pledge this year, the Narendra Modi government has directed all schools under its ambit to ensure that morning assembly in government schools focus on cleanliness and hygiene, and urge students to keep the statue in their school, if any, clean, besides clean their classrooms, laboratories, libraries, playground, toilets, drinking water areas and school gardens.
In a recent directive to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, the department of school education and literacy under the ministry of human resource and development, has asked all schools to ensure that children discuss cleanliness and hygiene in the school assembly every day, and that each school forms a children's cabinet to supervise and monitor the cleanliness initiative.
The move is in sync with the government's vision of Clean India by 2019, and aims to ensure that all schools have separate toilets for girls and boys by July 2015. The schools that will have to follow the directive include 1092 Kendriya Vidyalas under the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and 598 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalas under the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, impacting nearly 15 lakh students in government schools across the country.
"The government of India has directed its own schools through the Kendriya Vidyalas and the Navodya Vidyalas to celebrate the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan by taking up a programme for cleanliness in schools on a roundthe-year basis," the government has informed the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, which is overseeing the implementation of the project.
"The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti have been asked to take up, inter alia, the following activities that include talk by a few children on different aspects of cleanliness in the school assembly every day, especially with respect to sayings and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on cleanliness and hygiene," the note sent by the department of education to the implementing ministry said.
Besides, the department of education has also directed these schools to continue with the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan beyond October 31, 2014, by organising film shows, model activities on hygiene, periodic essay/painting and other competition, role plays, etc., to reassert the message of Swachh Bharat-Swachh Vidyalaya.
Justifying the decision that's expected to impact the regular course of teaching in these schools, the note said, "In collaboration with the state governments, we are making efforts to inculcate the spirit of hygiene, cleanliness and aversion to unhygienic conditions in all children from the very initial years of their school itself."
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, involves an investment of Rs 1,96,009 crore to construct 12 crore toilets across the country. The mission will culminate on October 2, 2019, which will mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.