The Delhi government on Sunday ordered all the 3,500 schools in the city to submit a declaration of safety within a month, a day after a Class 1 student was found dead in a water tank on campus.
A government task force would inspect schools to verify the claims and those found submitting wrong information on steps taken for students’ safety would face action, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.
“We have asked principals of each school — be it government, MCD (municipal corporation of Delhi) or private — to carry out a prima facie inspection and give us a report that the school is safe,” Sisodia, who is also the education minister, said.
The minister had called an emergency meeting of the officials of the directorate of education as anger mounted over the shocking death of Divyansh Kakrora, a student of Ryan International School in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj.
Two hours after he went missing from the classroom, Divyansh’s body was found floating in a water tank in a room below the amphitheatre.
The six-year-old died from drowning, the post mortem report said. He was alive when he fell into the tank — his lungs had water in them — and was asphyxiated, sources said.
The parents accused the school of neglect. The water storage room was not manned nor was it locked, an initial probe has revealed.
The school failed to inform them about the student’s death and it was the hospital that alerted them, police have said. The school says it followed all the procedures and administered first-aid to the student before taking him to hospital.
Divyansh’s final rites were performed in his ancestral village in Rajasthan’s Dausa on Sunday. His was the second death in three days on a school campus. On January 27, a five-year-old student was found dead in an open septic tank of an MCD school in Kapashera in southwest Delhi.
om all these schools is that there is something wrong. The death of an innocent six-year-old boy is a very serious matter,” Sisodia said.
The government and Delhi Police had on Saturday ordered separate probes into Divyansh’s death.
“I will get all the 3,500 schools inspected in the next one month through SDMs (sub-divisional magistrates), fire department, PWD (public works department), DJB (Delhi Jal Board), the education department and MCD,” Sisodia said.