State Governments and Union Territory Administrations have the direct responsibility to ensure safety of students in schools under their territorial control. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has issued guidelines in October, 2014 to State Governments for safety and security of school children, including preventive mechanisms and procedures required to be put in place in the schooling system alongwith relief and redressal strategies in case of any incident. Further, Sub-sections 1 and 2 of Section 17 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 states “No child shall be subjected to physical punishment or mental harassment. Whoever contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be liable to disciplinary action under the service rules applicable to such person.”
The Schedule to the RTE Act, 2009 provides for norms and standard for a school, which inter alia stipulate for all-weather school building. Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme, School Management Committees (SMCs) are trained especially on all aspects of safety and security of children in schools. Also, the guidelines on Food Safety and Hygiene for School Level Kitchen under the Mid Day Meal scheme stress on the safety aspects of procurement, storage and preparation of food items.
This Ministry has communicated the National School Safety Guidelines prepared by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to all the States/UTs on 1.9.2017, for taking necessary safety measures in their schools.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also suggested authorities at different levels such as SMC, School Principal, School Management, Education Department and Boards, to conduct safety audits in schools.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has formulated and circulated detailed guidelines to its affiliated schools for safety of students in schools and prevention of accidents relating to school children. Rule 8.5 of the Affiliation Bye laws prescribes that the School should scrupulously observe prescription from the Municipal Authority/District Collectorate/Transport Department regarding drinking water, fire safety and transport precautions in the school. A certificate from the Municipal/Fire/Transport Authority regarding sanitary conditions, water/fire/transport safety should be submitted along with the application. A fresh certificate regarding fulfilment of these requirements should be obtained and submitted to the Board every five years. CBSE in its guidelines issued on 12th September 2017 has also directed all affiliated schools to get the security/safety audit done of their premises and personnel from their respective local police station and also reiterated that all schools affiliated with CBSE strictly adhere to all the guidelines on the safety measures in schools issued by MHRD and board from time to time.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question.