NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Human Resource Development has issued guidelines to all state and UT governments for ensuring safety and security of school children.
The guidelines states that the school building should be physically sound, all-weather structures, resistant to earthquakes, fire, safe from floods and other calamities as the children are more vulnerable to be harmed and less likely to be able to react effectively in case calamity strikes.
The guidelines also state that building should be kept free from inflammable and toxic materials. If storage of some inflammable material (e.g. fuel for cooking mid-day meal) is inevitable, they should be stored safely.
“The school should have adequate emergency exits. There should be adequate supply of water and sand for fire-fighting purposes. The guidelines also specify carrying out periodical building safety audit for each and every school, reducing structural vulnerability of existing school buildings, preparation of Disaster Preparedness and Response Plans, preparation of a standard Checklist to assess the existing structural risks in the school buildings and preparation of retrofitting guidelines to strengthen the schools found vulnerable. Further, this Ministry has again advised to all States and UTs on 11th September, 2017 to sensitise the entire administrative and monitoring machinery towards effective implementation of the guidelines on safety and security of school children; and institutionalizing and ensuring a safe, secure and vibrant environment in schools for children,” the guidelines read.
The Department of School Education and Literacy has formulated an Integrated Scheme for School Education – Samagra Shiksha, which subsumes the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE). Samagra Shiksha effective from 1st April, 2018 supports States and UTs for strengthening of existing government schools, and for creation and augmentation of infrastructure facilities in schools.