Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Private schools flunk fire safety test

The Hans India: Hyderabad: Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
Private schools nowadays are offering various opportunities for students to flourish besides academics but, the safety of children is in jeopardy as many private schools are not equipped with fire safety measures under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. 
In 2016, out of 500 educational institutions, only 29 in Qutbullapur Circle, Balanagar mandal and Kukatpally circle adhered to fire safety standards prescribed by the government, according to a Right to Information (RTI) reply.
According to RTI information, for the past seven years in Qutbullapur Circle, Balanagar mandal and Kukatpally circle only four schools in 2010, 35 schools in 2011, 30 schools in 2012, 19 schools in 2013, 14 schools in 2014, 31 schools in 2015 and only 29 schools in 2016 got the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the District Fire Officer, GHMC, Hyderabad.  Before granting permission, the education department officials should make sure that the school building is well equipped with all safety measures.  If it is not as per the rules framed by the education department then they cannot permit the establishment of school.
An RTI query by Hanamakonda Upendra Chary, who said, “District Fire Officer named very few schools but, did not provide information on schools that do not have fire safety measures.”
Achyuta Rao, honorary president, Balala Hakkula Sangham (Child Rights Association) said managing education department has become easy nowadays as anyone can operate after accepting bribes. The best example, is the recent case of a DEO being charged with corruption.
Further, he suggested, “To make sure all the safety and security measures in the schools are followed, there should be a single window system and permission should be granted only when all the measures are followed.”
Naresh, Students Federation of India (SFI), Medchal district president said, schools not having NOC means putting thousands of children’s lives in danger. It is the duty of the education department to check for these measures before giving the permission, he said.
Speaking to The Hans India Usha Rani, District Education Officer, Medchal said around 200 government and 500 private schools are running in Qutbullapur, Balanagar and Kukatpally circle.  We will soon gather information on the schools which do not have NOC.