NEW DELHI: School managements across the country could soon be liable to pay heavy penalties and even face jail terms in case of heinous crimes like murder or rape on campuses.
The Union Human Resources Development Ministry, for the first time, is set to issue guidelines, fixing the responsibility on school managements for ensuring safety of children when they are in school.
On April 11, 2018, the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition demanding fixing of accountability of school managements, with regard to the safety of students, in the wake of the murder of a child at a Gurugram school in September 2017, had asked the Centre to come up with the guidelines within six months. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights was tasked with coming up with the guidelines, which it did within a few months. Howwver, the HRD Ministry asked for six months’ extension from the court before publishing the norms.
“We did that because we wanted to hold consultation with the states and schools’ representative before the guidelines are finally notified,” a senior Ministry official in the school education department told this newspaper.
“While the NCPCR guideline is still the basic draft, we are considering additions like jail term clauses. The norms are set to be notified before March 31 after we discuss it in few meetings this month.”
The draft guidelines say that schools which do not follow the 164 parameters prescribed under the Manual Of Safety and Security of Children in Schools, should be made to pay 1% of the total revenue generated by it in a year in case of first violation and 3% in case of second violation. The penalty would be 5% of revenue for the third instance of non-compliance.
Toughening rules to make students safe
Draft guidelines say schools not following the 164 parameters prescribed under the Manual Of Safety and Security of Children in Schools, should be made to pay 1% of its total revenue in a year in case of first violation and 3% in case of second violation.