New Delhi, Sep 5 :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said that it was not enough to enroll students in schools and every school must ensure it has toilets, especially for girl students, to check their drop-out rate.
Responding to a question from a student in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh on what the government was doing about the shortage of schools in the tribal region, the prime minister said he noticed that most girl students drop out of school after reaching Class 3 or 4, primarily due to lack of toilets.
He said he was pushing for building toilets for girls in every school, something he spoke about in his Independence Day address.
Modi rued that if earlier governments had paid attention to building toilets, the dropout rate for girls would not be so high. Right now the dropout rate for girls in India in the 7-17 age group is 33.7, that is one in every three girls.
“For every school, there should be toilets for girls and boys…Parents are bringing their children to schools but they leave when they reach Classes 3 and 4,” the prime minister said.
“I have thought a lot on this subject and have planned a lot… The results will be visible soon,” he promised.
He also had a word of praise for Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, saying he had done a lot of development for the Bastar region that is known to be a hotbed of Maoist rebels.
Modi said that girls’ education should be given priority. He noted that in the recent Commonwealth Games, 50 medals were won by girls and that most of the toppers of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and other state exams were also girls.
“So, if we concentrate on girls’ education, then the country will surely develop.”
He said he was emphasizing on providing toilets for girls in schools because he did not want a girl to leave school. He quoted Mahamta Gandhi to say that if a boy was educated, only an individual got educated; but if a girl was educated, two families got educated – one of her own and one of the family into which she gets married.
Modi said he was happy the people of Bastar are concerned about the lack of schools.