Govt Launches Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar to Award Schools for Cleanliness, COVID Preparedness

Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State for Education virtually launched the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) 2021-22. The award will recognise, inspire and award the schools who have undertaken exemplary work in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene and also provides a benchmark and roadmap for schools to make further improvements in the future. Interested schools can apply by March 2022.

At the national level, 40 schools will be selected for awards this year under the overall category. Selected schools will be awarded Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per school, under Samagra Shiksha scheme. There will be six sub-category-wise awards with award money of Rs 20,000 per school. The sub-categories include water, sanitation, handwashing with soap, operation and maintenance, behaviour change and capacity building, and the newly added category on COVID-19 preparedness and response.

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The SVP 2021-22 is open to all categories of schools — government, government-aided and private schools across the country. The schools will be assessed through an online portal and mobile app in the six above-mentioned sub-categories and the system will generate the overall score and rating automatically.

Schools will be awarded at the district, state, and national level based on an internationally recognized five-star rating system. Every school will get a certificate of participation showing the category-wise scores and overall rating of the school. This will help in promoting sustainable practices of improved water, sanitation and hygiene in schools.

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In order to create self-motivation and awareness about sanitation the Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar (SVP) was first instituted by the department of school education and literacy, in 2016-17, the official notice read.

While launching the awards, Sarkar highlighted the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools as it plays a significant role in determining the health of students, their attendance, dropout rate, and learning outcomes. The provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in schools secures a healthy school environment and protects children from illness (including COVID-19) and exclusion, he said.

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