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Rank private schools on basis of facilities, emotional, personal safety of children: WCD ministry

An HRD ministry official has said that it is important that private schools be categorised for effective implementation of the manual and for its proper monitoring subsequently.

education Updated: Jan 30, 2018 20:25 IST
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights under the ministry of women and child development  wants schools across the country to be ranked and categorised on the basis of their infrastructure and the facilities they provide to ensure uniformity and find out the gaps and fix themd
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights under the ministry of women and child development wants schools across the country to be ranked and categorised on the basis of their infrastructure and the facilities they provide to ensure uniformity and find out the gaps and fix themd(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
         

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wants private schools across the country to be categorised, even ranked on the basis of their infrastructure and facilities, an idea the ministry of human resource and development (HRD) is open to accepting, although it will have to also be accepted and implemented by the state governments.

NCPCR , which comes under the the ministry of women and child development (WCD) raised this issue with the HRD ministry during the meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) held on January 15, according to a senior official in the HRD ministry who asked not to be named.

The board advises the Central and state governments.

The NCPCR’s move would appear to have started off as a reaction to recent incidents involving the safety of children in schools, including the murder of one in a Gurgaon school, but has since grown in scope.

According to the HRD ministry official, NCPCR already has a manual on infrastructure and safety audits in schools, and that this includes aspects related to the emotional and personal safety of children as well as the ability of schools to deal with natural disasters. Still, categorisation and ranking would ensure the effective implementation and monitoring of these guidelines, this person added.

Education is a state subject but the HRD ministry can “provide a model framework to the states .... to ensure uniformity, and also find possible gaps and fix them,” the official said. .

“The information can be shared with parents too so that they can make an informed choice while selecting the schools.”

“If it is done honestly to categorize schools and rank them based on certain parameters then it alright . We welcome this move,” said Manohar Lal, principal of Delhi Public School, Mathura Road.

A second official in the ministry confirmed that it is looking at the feasibility of the proposal.

“Private schools except those under the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) are in a state’s domain and issues have to be taken up with the states. We are examining how the ministry can intervene,” this person added.

The commission also pointed out that the categorisation of schools would also help regulate fees in private schools.

The CBSE, which has over 18,000 schools in the country, has also been planning to grade schools, albeit with an emphasis on academic output, not infrastructure.

The board also issued instructions to its affiliated schools, asking them to conduct safety audits, install closed-circuit television cameras at all vulnerable areas inside their premises and limit the entry of outsiders.

Its September advisory came after an eight-year-old student in a private school in Gurgaon was allegedly murdered by a senior student of the same school.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 12:47 IST

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