Hefty fines, loss of recognition for schools ignoring students' safety

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New Delhi: The schools, which hereafter fail to ensure proper safety and security to students on its premises, will face a slew of punishments such as a maximum fine of five percent of last year's revenue and cancellation of recognition.

The Central Government has formulated the necessary guidelines in this regard in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on the accidental death of a student at the toilet of Ryan International School, Gurugram, a few years ago.

The Central Education Department has made the guidelines applicable to all the schools in the country. Based on these guidelines, each State Government is required to frame necessary rules and notify them in the Gazette for implementation.

Lapses which invite action
1. Absence of basic facilities for differently-abled students in schools.
2. Distribution of low-quality food and water in schools
3. Failure to arrange proper security and safety measures in schools
4. Failure to give emergency medical help to students
5. Failure to act on the complaints given by students.
6. Failure to end physical and mental torture of students.
7. Failure to end violence, use of drugs and discrimination of students.
8. Absence of permanent security and safety system in schools.
9. Failure to act when mishaps or disasters occur at schools.
10. Hiding required information to higher-ups by schools.
11. Failure in implementing COVID-19 guidelines

Mode of punishment
The Parent–Teacher Association (PTA) of a private school should inform the Assistant Education Officer (AEO) about the lapses if the school commits any such lapses. A fine of one percent of last year's revenue will be levied from the school if the violation is found to be true.

If there is no action, the District Education Officer (DEO) can be approached. A fine of three percent of last year's revenue can be levied from the school in case the violation is found to be true. The next level of appeal is the District Collector. If the violation continues, a fine of five percent of last year's revenue can be levied. The cancellation of the admission for the next academic year can also be contemplated.

If the violation continues, the District Collector should report the matter to the State Education Department. The State Government can then temporarily or permanently scrap recognition for the respective school. The new rules are also applicable to government and aided schools.

Norms for school reopening
The guidelines with regard to the school reopening in Kerala will be released on Thursday.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reportedly asked the General Education Department to include some new points in the new guidelines with regard to security and safety features in schools.

The General Education Department will release the new guidelines, after including these aspects in the guidelines.

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