‘Operation Vidyalaya Kayakalp’ in UP fails to meet targets

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The deadline for ‘Operation Vidyalaya Kayakalp’ (OVK) is drawing to close but more than 24 per cent of schools in Uttar Pradesh still lack basic facilities like drinking water, furniture, boundary walls and toilets.

The ‘Operation Vidyalaya Kayakalp’, a highly ambitious project of the Uttar Pradesh government, was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2018 with an aim of giving primary schools a facelift.

The state government had set a target of saturating all 1.3 lakh schools with 19 basic facilities by March 2022.

According to official sources, a self-evaluation report of OVK shows average saturation of 19 indicators in only 76.3 per cent schools across the state.

Varanasi (93.5 per cent), Kasganj (93.3 per cent) and Meerut (88.7 per cent) are the top districts where maximum schools have undergone transformation.

Gorakhpur, with 63 per cent, is among the worst performing districts of the state even though it is the home district of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Sitapur with 57.4 per cent and Kushinagar with 64.5 per cent are other poor performing districts.

The report shows that two out of the 19 OVK indicators saw least improvement.

Contrary to claims, only 27.7 per cent schools across the state have toilets for children with special needs (CWSN) while merely 28.3 per cent schools have furniture for children.

Close to 55 per cent of schools boast of floor tiles in classrooms though 98.8 per cent state-run schools have a blackboard for children.

According to the government spokesman, in its second term, the Yogi government aims to prioritise the OVK again to ensure 100 per cent saturation. They feel the scheme has done wonders in terms of improving infrastructure and also on softer transformation in teachers and children.

Additional director, basic education, Lalita Pradeep said that she was taken aback when a child from a class without a teacher took to teaching her and her team of 15 officials, who were on a surprise visit some months back.

“He instantly opened his book, came to the centre and started teaching. Such confidence building in children, this is what Operation Kayakalp has done,” she said.

The department has prepared an OVK technical design manual, which is being distributed to schools and gram panchayats.

Meanwhile, principal secretary, basic education, Deepak Kumar has written to the district magistrates and presidents of state project committees seeking expediting of work in order to make the campuses child-friendly and attractive for kids.

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