With most schools lacking severely in terms medical preparedness, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) on Monday launched an exhaustive set of guidelines to ensure better handling of medical emergencies.
Last year, the death of a Class XII student of Modern School, Vasant Vihar, triggered a debate on whether educational institutions are well-equipped to administer first aid in case of an emergency.
Akkriti Bhatia had died on her away from school to the nearest hospital after she suffered an acute asthma attack during school hours.
In an attempt to ensure that such an incident is not repeated, the DCPCR has now recommended schools in Delhi step up and have a full-time or on-call doctor during working hours, a tie-up with the nearest hospital in case of emergency and also form an emergency response team, among other things.
So far there were no guidelines or standard operating procedures for Delhi schools to deal with a situation of medical emergencies. The Delhi School Education Rules, 1973, too, does not have any elaborate provisions for this.
“This report is going to serve as the ready reckoner in all the schools of Delhi and possibly outside Delhi as well,” said DCPCR chairperson, Amod Kanth.
The guidelines, which were launched by Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, also recommend that schools maintain data of students suffering from any disease, form a health committee and in turn formulate individualised management plan for the student with special needs.
And to ensure timely response, the guidelines also recommend an alarm system to alert the emergency response team.
Though DCPCR has released the guideline, their fate in terms of implementation remains unclear.
“What we need is the implementation of the report. The education and health departments should work together to get this report implemented,” said Dikshit.