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Karnataka: Panel recommends safety measures in government schools on lines of steps taken by private institutions

The panel was constituted to assess whether managements of private schools had to submit safety and security certificates while applying for affiliation renewals.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: September 3, 2021 8:23:43 am
The least number of textbooks have been distributed in Gadag educational district at 72.88 per cent, with Dharwad (75.85 per cent), Uttara Kannada (76.75) and Haveri (77.30) reporting similar numbers. (File Photo)

The Karnataka government has been recommended by a panel constituted by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education that government schools across the state should be brought on par with private unaided schools in terms of implementing safety and security measures.

The committee chaired by Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) SV Sankanur found such standards were yet to be streamlined at government schools while the same was found to be met by private managements. The panel was constituted to assess whether managements of private schools had to submit safety and security certificates while applying for affiliation renewals.

Further, the report, which was submitted to Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh in Bengaluru, stressed the need for the government to allocate funds in the upcoming Budget to upgrade safety and security measures in government schools.

“An overseeing committee at the state level should be formed for grievance redressal in issues linked to the safety of children at schools. Such an inter-departmental committee should also be held accountable to follow-up complaints of buildings compromising safety by its structure, lack of toilets and drinking water and other infrastructure-related issues,” the report noted.

Another major recommendation put forth by the committee was to exempt schools with only a ground floor from obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOC) for fire and safety. The committee also highlighted the need to decentralise the NOC-issuing process as well.

Meanwhile, D Shashikumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), criticised the report for “lack of clarity.”

He said, “It seems that the committee has considered only the 2009 order of the Supreme Court ignoring all subsequent orders with respect to safety and security of children at schools. We recommend that this needs to be revisited before being considered by the minister.”

The committee has also suggested that the same panel could also be in charge to follow up on complaints related to abuse and violence on children.

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