NEW DELHI: Javahar Navodaya Vidyalayas — the ‘model’ residential schools run directly by the Centre — have failed to create the post of wardens, in violation of the national guidelines for school hostels which mandates appointing wardens. The norms were published last year.
Incidentally, the guidelines had been issued by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights following an inquiry into the accidental death of a student in a Navodaya school in Jhajjar Haryana, when he sneaked out of the hostel at night.
Navodaya schools are widely hailed for over 95 per cent passing percentage in class10 and 12 boards and exceptional results in competitive examinations such as Joint Entrance Examinations (Main and Advanced) and National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (for medical colleges). However, they are also known for high-stress levels among students.
Officials in the NCPCR said that absence of a dedicated person for monitoring hostels had come as a “shocking” revelation during its investigation in a JNV death in 2017—following which it inspected about 60 other Navodaya schools. The Commission had concluded that Jhajjar death had resulted due to “negligence of school authorities.”
“JNV only has housemasters, who are teachers responsible for looking after students in hostels as well. However, they often do not pay much attention to what is happening in dormitories where students stay,” a senior NCPCR official said.
A senior NVS official said,“We had tried appointing ex-servicemen in 10 per cent of JNVs on pilot basis as contractual caretakers, but that experiment did not work probably due to the low remuneration offered.”