CAG questions Gujarat government’s claim on Open Defecation Free status and RTE

CAG

New Delhi, Sep 21 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the government’s claim of Gujarat being ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) appears to be wrong and pointed glaring deficiencies in the implementation of the Right to Education Act (RTE) in Gujarat.

In a survey conducted in eight districts, nearly 30 percent ofrural houses were found to have no toilets, said the CAG report tabled in the state Assembly on Wednesday.

The Union government had informed the Lok Sabha in February this year that 11 states including Gujarat have been declared as ODF under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said that the key objectives of Right to Education Act (RTE) for universalisation of elementary education could not be fully achieved due to various deficiencies in Gujarat.

In a report tabled in the Assembly, the CAG has revealed that 12.80 to 15.11 per cent of children in the age group of 6-14 years were not enrolled in any school in the state during 2012-17. But the state government could only identify between 2.72 to 6.12 per cent of children as “out of school children” during the same five years.

“The state government declared all the districts of Gujarat as ODF by October 2, 2017. However, information provided by 120 test-checked Gram Panchayats under eight selected District Panchayats for the period of 2014-17 revealed that 29 percent households still did not have access to toilets (individual or public),” the CAG report said.

In a report tabled in the Assembly, the CAG has revealed that 12.80 to 15.11 per cent of children in the age group of 6-14 years were not enrolled in any school in the state during 2012-17. But the state government could only identify between 2.72 to 6.12 per cent of children as “out of school children” during the same five years.

These deficiencies, the report said, include failure to provide basic facilities in schools and setting admission targets without taking into consideration the availability of seats as per the RTE quota.

“The state government could not provide basic infrastructure facilities in majority of government schools even after seven years of implementation of the RTE Act,” the CAG report mentioned.

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