Strictures on school excursions
Centre directs schools to seek written permission from parents or guardians before taking children on study tours or picnics, reports Chetan Chauhan.delhi Updated: Jan 26, 2008 02:27 IST
Schools should seek written permission from parents or guardians before taking children on study tours or picnics, according to a circular issued by the Centre. The circular containing other guidelines for such outings, issued by the Human Resource Development ministry, follows findings that schools rarely adopt safety measures on tours and picnics.
“We have issued a circular to all state governments asking them to tell the schools to follow the guidelines,” Subash Kuntia, the ministry’s joint secretary, said. “We’ve found and received representations that schools don’t observe safety norms for such tours.”
The guidelines also say that schools can take students only to “non-dangerous” places.
There have been several incidents of schoolchildren dying or getting injured on picnics or study tours. Recently, a group of children from a government school in Himachal Pradesh died in an accident in Tamil Nadu. They were travelling in an over-crowded bus with very few school staff, a ministry official said.
The guidelines also say that the teachers accompanying the students should ensure that the children don’t venture out dangerously. “Going very close to the coast should not be allowed,” a ministry official said.
The ministry wants that parents should be clearly briefed by the school about the tour itinerary and the safety precautions.