Come June, government schools across the Capital will take the first step towards achieving what has now become the cause of a raging controversy with Akkriti Bhatia’s death — better preparedness for medical emergencies.
The first step, though small, is significant as it involves training teachers and students in providing first aid. More importantly, the initiative has been conceived with the aim of helping teachers and children “recognise an emergency and learn about appropriate response”.
The training sessions, which are part of the YUVA School Life Skills Programme (SLP) covering a spectrum of themes including nutrition, health and hygiene, will begin soon after the schools reopen after summer break.
“We cannot anticipate an accident or an emergency that arises during school hours. But what we can do is teach teachers and students on ways to cope with such situations. So from June onwards, we will begin training 50,000 teachers of MCD, NDMC and government schools. We will invite people from the Red Cross, hospitals and Delhi Police to address them. The teachers will in turn pass on the skills to their students and they will be aided by the YUVA handbook, which illustrates all steps in training,” said Rina Ray, education secretary.
The training sessions, tried out in 200 government schools late last year, involve workshops that familiarise children of Classes VI-XII with the contents of a first-aid box and ways to provide preliminary medical care, say, in case of bleeding.
“At school, teachers will be encouraged to resort to role-play as it makes learning easier. Some students will be asked to act out a crisis situation and then those watching will be asked ways to deal with it,” she added.
“More importantly the students will be made to memorise a few phone numbers (such as fire, ambulance, police, nearest hospital), which will come in handy at the time of an emergency. The idea is to help them to recognise the gravity of a situation and call for right help,” she said.