Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar will improve the cleanliness standards in govt. schools : Education Minister

In record seven months, 66,125 schools completed the first cycle of Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar developed by BEPC and UNICEF

Patna: Besides imparting education, teachers also have the responsibility to motivate students towards cleanliness and hygiene and with their tireless efforts, 26 5-star rating schools were awarded with state-level Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar-2021.

This award has been conferred under the Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (BSVP)  developed by BEPC and UNICEF. 26 principals under whose able leadership the schools bagged the state level award will go a long way in motivating other schools and improving the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) standards in schools across the state.

 During the BSVP Award Distribution Ceremony for 2021 cum Consultation Workshop for 2022 Roadmap Bihar Human Resources Development Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said that the state government has already been trying to improve the cleanliness standards through various programmes including Gramin Peyajal Nishchaya Yojana under Chief Minister Seven Resolves Programmes. 

Lauding the remarkable achievements under which the first round of BSVP was completed within a span of seven months, the Minister said that this award will  motivate and encourage all the District Education authorities to inspire the schools to participate in the nomination process of not only the Bihar SVP but the National Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar as well in the coming years.

On this occasion, a compendium describing the story of all 26 headmasters and their respective schools was also released. 

Top three winner schools of BSVP 2021 are Madhya Vidyalaya, Ufrail, Purnea, Utkramit Indira Aawas Madhya Vidyalaya, Belauti, Bhojpur and Utkramit Uchch Vidyalaya, Badalpura, Begusarai. Notably, all three schools are headed by the female headmasters. “Students were initially hesitant about owning the responsibility of cleanliness. But when the teachers themselves started cleaning the school premises and toilets, the students too came forward to take charge of maintaining cleanliness.

We also ensured that soaps are available and our children were encouraged to wash their hands after using toilets as well as before having mid-day meal,” said Manju Kumari, HM of Utkramit Indira Aawas Madhya Vidyalaya, Belauti, Bhojpur while sharing her experience. 

Kanchan Kumari, HM of Utkramit Uchch Vidyalaya, Badalpura, Begusarai said that we focused on behavioural changes amongst the children. As a result, our students are no more required to be given any instruction and they are pro-actively owning the responsibility of cleanliness of the school premises. 

Lauding the efforts of all the award-winning HMs and school staffs, Sanjay Kumar, ACS, Department of Education said that cleanliness and maintenance of school premises and toilets is still a big concern in so many schools. Along with this, hand washing needs to be promoted as a habit.  DEOs and other officials of the department must check the cleanliness and maintenance of toilets while visiting the schools. With the concerted efforts, we can make cleanliness a mass movement in Bihar.

Shivendra Pandeya, Program Manager, UNICEF Bihar said that it is heartening to see that out of the total 77,983 schools, 72,486 schools self-nominated themselves and 66,125 have completed the whole process till date. This momentum is expected to accelerate and the remaining schools will also complete the process in the coming years. Currently, the web portal of BSVP is managed by an outside agency. We are hopeful that this portal will be integrated in the department of education’s website and managed by the department in the coming times. 

Along with the HMs of all 26 Schools, DEOs, DPOs and AEs (Assistant Engineers) of all the 38 Districts participated in award ceremony. Post award ceremony, a consultation with all the district authorities was held to discuss the journey of BSVP 2021, the key findings, issues, challenges as well as best practices to be able to revisit the guideline for necessary adaptations. 

Srikant Shastree, State Project Director, BEPC said that we are committed to take forward this journey of BSVP so as to cover all the schools and make our schools truly WASH friendly for our children. 

Prabhakar Sinha, WASH Specialist, UNICEF Bihar said that as the GoI has relaunched the NSVP in 2022 with few modifications, today’s consultation focused on the differences between Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar and National Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar to be able to align the BSVP with National SVP and make it more robust. The key objective of the consultation was to discuss in detail on the journey of BSVP and NSVP and develop a roadmap for the year 2022 and beyond to be able to bring all the schools on par with the benchmarking system.

Background of Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (BSVP)

With the aim to create child friendly environment in schools by providing adequate, functional WASH facilities and practices, State specific WASH in Schools benchmarking system and award guidelines under the name of Bihar Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar was developed by the Department of Education in collaboration with UNICEF and launched on 30 September, 2021.  

Sudhakar Reddy WASH Officer, UNICEF Bihar, officials of UNICEF and BEPC were present during the event.

Vote of thanks was given by Bhola Prasad Singh, Civil Works Manager, BEPC.