CHENNAI: Pictures that have emerged recently of a group of children, in their school uniform, drinking water unsupervised from a sump outside the Government primary school in Perumbakkam, have once again raised concerns of why a compound wall has not been built around the schools here for so long. The school is part of an integrated school complex, consisting of a Government high school and primary school inside the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board resettlement site in Perumbakkam.
Last week Mridula (name changed) whose daughter studies in class 3 of the primary school saw the primary school boys drinking water directly from the sump and decided to click pictures of it. “The environment is highly unsafe for children. I see them having lunch near the sewage drain and they run outside whenever they want since there is no compound wall,” she said.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009, as part of its norms and standards for a recognised school, states that schools should have an all-weather school building. The Schedule to the RTE Act also provides for securing the school building by a compound wall or fencing.
Express had reported earlier that the boys of the Government High school in Perumbakkam are sent to relieve themselves in the vacant ground nearby due to lack of water. After lunch students of the high school and the primary school wash their lunch boxes in the sump, around 20-50 feet deep. However, the situation continues to remain the same, posing a threat to the safety of students.
Speaking to Express, a senior official of the school said that he has asked multiple times for a compound wall to be built around the High and Primary school building. “I get a positive response every time but it has not translated to action of any kind. We have given specific instructions for students to keep away from the sump and but sometimes during lunch they wander off and it’s difficult to keep track,” he said.