The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will distribute shampoos and combs to all students, following a discussion during a recent parent-teacher meeting that several students were facing a problem of lice. “This is a problem among several children studying in our schools, but they don’t want to speak about it. After the parent-teacher meeting, we observed that this health problem needs to be addressed fast,” said Nandini Sharma, the chairperson of the SDMC’s education committee.
She added that the civic body will soon float a proposal on the cost that will be incurred and the number of combs and shampoo required. The students will be provided these in the next two months, said Sharma.
There are 581 schools under the SDMC, where around 2,50,000 students are enrolled. Sharma said the schools will also hold awareness campaigns for parents, since a permanent solution to the problem requires the entire family to be lice-free.
She said they will be given tips on natural ways to deal with the problem at home. The corporation further plans to rope in NGOs and corporate houses to invest in the scheme.
Many students enrolled in SDMC schools are from relatively poorer backgrounds and have to deal with issues at home such as erratic water supply, lack of resources and health awareness.
An SDMC official said that another feedback received during the PTM was that students want English and computer education to be promoted in school.
Taking this into account, officials said the SDMC plans to start an English-medium school in each ward as a model school. “These schools will be completely English-medium, unlike our earlier plan where we wanted to have a section which would be English-medium,” Sharma said.
The initiative is also to boost falling enrolment rate at South MCD schools. The enrolment rate of students in primary classes of SDMC schools has continued to decline, with 17,535 fewer students being enrolled in the 2017-18 session as compared to 2016-17, according to the figures released by the civic body.
The number of students enrolled in 2017-18 was 2,48,297; as compared to 2,65,832 in 2016-17. In 2015-16 the enrollment was at 2,76,901; in 2014-15 it was 2,93,436; in 2013-14 it was 3,02,832; while in 2012-13 it was 3,20,688.