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PART - II CHAPTER - I MEASURES SUGGESTED FOR PREVENTING ACCIDENTS IN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS INTRODUCTION 1.1. On the 16th of July, 2004, at about 10.30 hours, disaster struck Kumbakonam, in the shape of a gruesome fire accident, in a cluster of schools, on Kasiraman Street. The Government with the Honourable Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalithaa at the helm rose to the occasion with great alacrity. The District Administration led by the then Collector Dr. J. Radhakrishnan, I.A.S. was at the scene of accident within minutes. The police, the fire service and the general public did a tremendous job to rescue the school children who had got caught in the fire. However, because of the smoke that had engulfed the area and the total absence of natural or artificial light, visibility was at a premium and this hampered the efforts and the salvage operations appear not to have succeeded to the extent, desired or expected. 1.2. The fire which originated in the thatched kitchen in the ground floor, spread to the first floor thatch, developed into an inferno and brutally snuffed out the lives of 94 children, boys and girls in their prime and caused burn injuries in 18 children. And this, not withstanding, the valiant efforts by the police, the fire service people, the doctors, the paramedical staff and several Good Samaritans among the public. 1.3. The injured were treated in the hospitals at Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Madurai and Chennai. Most of them have recovered. Counselling sessions were held for the emotionally scarred/challenged. A team of psychiatrists along with the District Collector went from home to home counselling parents and the siblings of the deceased. (Panel member Thiru K. Vijayan went to Kumbakonam several times and interacted with the children and the parents later.) 1.4. Meanwhile the Government appointed this Commission. The purpose of the present Commission is not only to find the cause of the fire, but to determine the possible culpability of persons and agencies involved and of greatest importance, to recommend measures for the prevention of similar catastrophes. Every calamity is a spur and valuable hint. (Emerson) Calamity is a virtues opportunity. (Seneca) 1.5. The cause of the fire accident has been dealt with in Part I of this Report. This Part II deals with the possible methods by which accidents in schools could be prevented, the contingency plans to cope with, problems yet to surface. This contemplated spot inspection of schools in the State. 1.6. Between the first of November, 2004 and the 12th of March, 2006 the Commission and the members of the panel, constituted for the purpose, visited


schools all over the State, to gain first hand knowledge of the shortcomings which could trigger an accident, so that remedial measures could be thought of and suggested, for implementation. Except for a break of two weeks, one during the third week of November 2004 for discharging the duties relating to the first part of the assignment and the other during the last week of December, 2004 when the schools were closed, the Commission and the committed members of the panel were on the move visiting school after school, in panchayat after panchayat, village after village, town after town, city after city and district after district. Though originally, it was thought that inspection of about 25 schools would suffice for each district, as days progressed and the members gained in experience and mastered the art of where to look for what, the number of schools for each district multiplied and ultimately, the team managed more than 80 schools, on an average, for each district. The team observed the ground realities, noted the shortcomings, absorbed lessons and the recommendations are being made as to how to surmount the shortcomings, if it is possible. The details are given in tabular forms for each district. A ready reckoner based on the answers to the questionnaire has also been prepared. It provides the statistical details in respect of each district. It is hoped/expected that it will be useful in some way or the other. 1.7. We are informed that about 1500 fires on an average are recorded in Chennai each year. High rise buildings need greater attention. Vehicles parked on the premises block entry of fire fighting vehicles. Electrical wiring in small shops in commercial establishments is of poor quality. A small spark can set off a major conflagration. The absence of stringent norms enables owners of commercial establishments to become careless and negligent and generally allow the guilty to get away after the fire. 1.8.1. In December, 2003, a student was badly injured when a detonator exploded in a classroom in a Government High School in Mallure. 1.8.2. In January 2004, there was a major fire accident in Srirangam in a marriage pandal when several people lost their lives. 1.8.3. On July 7th, 2004, a fire broke out at a cloth store in Egmore at 9.45 p.m. The hydrants and hoses in the building could not be used as they were under lock and key. Those trained to handle such a crisis were just not available. By the time the fire service arrived the flame had engulfed several shops. 1.8.4. In August, 2004 there was a leakage of electricity from wires resulting in thatched roof catching fire in a school in Chittoor. 1.8.5. In September, 2004 in a fire that broke out in the office of the Municipal Middle School in Mangalur, office records and furniture got destroyed. 1.8.6. In the same month, two Sri Lankan women were killed in a fire at a cloth store in Egmore. 1.8.7. In Sri Nagar in October, 2004, in a small courtyard fenced by tin sheets and a barbed wire, the snapped high tension wire fell on the corrugated tin sheets and barbed wire and the fence started burning. Two children were caught in the burning fence and electrocuted. 1.8.8. In Thanjavur, gun powder produced before the court, in an explosive case, years ago and kept in the court premises exploded when garbage was burnt inside the office.


1.8.9. Recently at Salem a student died in a blast at a science expo. There was a student working model of gober gas plant. It consisted of a large tin drum which was used as cow dung tank. The gas generated was collected in a cylinder and a tube was attached to channel the gas to a burner. The cylinder burst due to excessive pressure buildup. The lid of the cylinder blew off hitting one of the students on the head and damaged his skull. 1.8.10. Lightning struck in a school and two children lost their lives. 1.8.11.After a fire in a Buenos Aires dance hall, during a concert by Los Collejeros, a rock band, on December 30th, killed at least 186 people and injured some 700, the search for whom to blame for the tragedy, quickly began. Public villain number one was the night club owner who was under arrest. The clubs emergency exits were bolted shut and it was packed with some 4000 people, roughly three times its legally permitted capacity. The fire began when some concert goers mostly young teenagers threw flares. In doing so they ignored specific pleas by the owner of the club and the band. They had not been identified and the police were unsure, whether they survived. But they had attracted little public opprobrium. 1.8.12. In one of the deadliest blazes in the French Capital in 30 years, on the 16th of April, 2005, at least 20 persons died of whom 10 were children. Seven persons died when they leapt from windows to escape the flames. They either jumped or threw their children from the upper floors of the burning building in desperate efforts to save their lives. One fire service official said that the number of deaths would have been much lower had residents remained in their rooms and not tried to flee the flames. Experts believed that the fire could have started in a first floor room with a microwave. If we accept the fire service officials version, there was error of judgment on the part of the victims. 1.9. In Kumbakonam, a wayward spark from a kitchen led to the accident. Fire can raze down concrete structures also. It is the thatched roof in one fire accident; it is short circuit in another and structural deficiency in yet another case. Again, bushes with poisonous trees/plants in school premises or in close proximity are safe havens for snakes and poisonous creatures which can endanger the lives of the children studying in those schools. An open pond, tank or well in or close to the school premises can be an invitation to accident. Ignoring basic hygiene and sanitation in the noon meal kitchens can end in food poisoning. Uncleared garbage is a health hazard. It is, indeed, not possible to envisage all eventualities. 1.10 The Kumbakonam tragedy is only symptomatic of the greater malaise. There is total disregard for safety consideration particularly concerning children that range from rash driving of school vans to scolding, chiding and punishment in class rooms and unsafe buildings. During the tours, the Commission and the panel members saw schools being run in malls and market places with stalls in the first floor and schools in the ground floor and vice versa. They are virtual tinderboxes waiting to explode. In several places residential buildings are used to house schools. There is no open space inside such buildings. They are situated in narrow lanes through which fire service vehicles cannot ply. School buses with children packed


like sardines and auto-rickshaws literally `filled with children, their heavy school bags hanging out, are particularly common sights these days. The whole problem is because of the indifference of the management in taking care of the basic amenities inside and outside school. In many schools we found overhead high tension and low tension cables running across. These can snap and result in serious accidents. 1.11 Today, any event or process that leads to death on a large scale or the lessening of life chances should be viewed as a threat to the society at large. Realistic recommendations, which, if acted upon, would address the security concerns of the schools ensure that they work better and the society is benefitted. We need to be far more committed to prevention, which if properly resourced and broadly supported, can be highly effective. Prevention is also a vital part of any effective strategy to protect children. Range, scale and intensity of the threat have to be assessed. Time and again we lose focus once the high point of a crisis has passed. Consequences of action will never be worse than consequences of inaction. Blue prints for disaster management should be more proactive than reactive emphasizing prevention or reduction rather than relief. But while we reach for greater heights, we cannot ignore what pulls us down-implementation failure, our appalling distribution system, and the corruption that eats away every structure we set up. There are lots of grey areas which need to be cleared.


CHAPTER- II What is the solution?

2.1. As Gide Andre voiced Everything has been said already, but as no one listens we must always begin again. Yes. It has already been stated; implement the law, the regulations, the rules the codes without fear or favour. Enforce the safety norms. 2.2. In the opinion of the commission, the argument that if safety norms are enforced, many schools will have to close down and therefore should not be insisted upon, is not valid at all. There can be no two views that safety cannot be sacrificed at the altar of expediency. There can be no compromise on this. The erring schools, most of them are apology for schools have to be shown the door unless safety standards are strictly adhered to.


CHAPTER- III Relevant Acts, Rules and Regulations 3.1. The provisions governing schools are found in various enactments: The Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act (Act 13 of 1920), the Elementary Education Act, 1920, The Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act, 1966, The Tamil Nadu Recognized Private Schools Regulation Act, 1973, The Code of Regulations for Anglo Indian Schools, The Code of Regulations for Approved Nursery & Primary Schools, The Tamil Nadu Minority Schools (Recognition and Payment of Grant) Rules, 1977 and the Rules framed under the various Acts. A broad outline is now set out. The relevant provisions are given as annexures. 3.1.1. The Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act In the District Municipalities Act it is provided in Section 181 that licence has to be obtained from the executive authority to open door, gate, bar or ground floor window to open outwards upon a street. Under Section 192 no piece of land shall be used as a site for the construction of a building and no building shall be constructed or reconstructed otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of this Part and of any rules or bylaws, made under this Act relating to the use of building-sites or the construction or reconstruction of buildings. Under Section 196 there is prohibition against constructing doors, ground floor windows and bars so as to open outwards except with the licence of the executive authority under Section 181. Under Section 197 a person intending to construct or reconstruct a building other than a hut has to make an application to the executive authority together with the necessary annexures mentioned therein. Under Section 198 the executive authority shall not grant permission to construct or reconstruct a building unless and until he has approved of the site on the application under Section 197. Section 199 prohibits commencement of work without permission. Section 206 gives powers to the executive authority to require alteration of work under certain contingencies. The executive authority has powers under Section 206 to direct stoppage of work endangering human life. Section 214 requires the owner or occupier of any building adjoining a public street to keep the external part thereof in proper repair. Section 216 provides that the provisions relating to construction and reconstruction of buildings shall also be applicable to any alteration thereof or addition thereto. Section 219 empowers the executive authority to secure, lop or cut down any tree or any branch of a tree, the fruit of any tree if it appears to him to be likely to fall and thereby endanger any person or any structure after notice to the owner. Section 220 deals with the precautions to be taken in case of dangerous tanks, wells, holes, etc.

305 Section 222 provides of precautions against fire. Section 223 prohibits construction of wells, tanks, etc. without the permission of the executive authority. Section 224 gives power to the executive authority to fill in pools, ditch, tank, well, pond, bog, swamp, quarry-hole, drain, cesspool, pit, water-course or any collection of water which are a nuisance. Section 226 deals with cleansing of insanitary private tank or well used for drinking. Section 237 deals with the powers of the executive authority to take action in case of buildings which are unfit for human habitation. Section 238 provides for abatement of overcrowding in dwelling house or dwelling place. Section 317 provides for penalty for unlawful building Chapter X-A, Sections 217-A to Q deal with Building Regulations in Hill Stations. (There are similar provisions in the respective City Municipal Corporation Acts and the Panchayat Acts.) Private Schools The Elementary Education Act has been repealed except for certain sections. But, it should be mentioned here that schools which obtained permanent recognition or temporary recognition prior to the coming into force of the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act 1966, also have to obtain licence under this Act after producing a stability certificate and a sanitary certificate issued respectively by a Chartered Engineer or a PWD Engineer and the Municipal Health Authority. (The relevant Sections and the Rules of the Licensing Act have been set out as Annexure A-36.) The engineer and the municipal health authority are duty bound to visit the school and then on being satisfied issue the relevant certificates. The Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act. Some of the provisions have been referred to in the first part of the Report. The provisions which have a bearing on the question involved in this second part will be referred to now. Section 2(6) of the Schools (Regulation) Act defines a minority school as a private school of its choice established and administered by any such minority whether based on religion or language as has the right to do so under clause (1) of Article 30 of the Constitution. Section 2(7) defines private school as meaning a pre-primary, primary, middle or high school or higher secondary school or any other institution imparting education or training, established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, and recognized by the competent authority under this Act. (It does not include some types of school or institution with which we are not presently concerned).

306 Section 4 requires a new private school to obtain permission before establishing any private school on or after the date of commencement of the Act. Section 6 requires such a person to apply for permission to the competent authority to establish such school. It also mentions about the particulars and other annexures which are to accompany the application for permission. Section 6(2) (iii) (a) provides that the application should mention the extent of the playground available to pupils and the adequacy of the playground with reference to the strength of the pupils in the school. Section 6(2) (vii) enjoins the applicant to mention about the situation and the description of the buildings in which such private school is proposed to be established. Section 6-A deals with application for permission in respect of existing higher secondary schools. Section 6 deals with the grant of permission by the competent authority. Section 9 provides that a minority school can be established without permission under Section 6. But, Section 10 provides under 10(2) that such minority school shall send to the competent authority a statement containing the particulars set out in clause (c) of sub-section (2) of Section 6 Section 10-A requires a minority higher secondary school also to send such a statement. Section 11 deals with recognition of private school by the competent authority. Section 11-A provides for certain additional factors to be taken into account for recognition of private schools. It particularly mentions that the competent authority before passing orders on an application for recognition under Section 11 has to take into consideration the extent of the playground available to pupils and the adequacy of the playground with reference to the strength of the pupils in the school. Section 12 provides for withdrawal of recognition by competent authority. Section 13 deals with the effect of withdrawal of recognition. Section 30 requires the educational agency to send a list of properties both movable and immovable of the private school on or before the prescribed date in each year. Section 31 restricts the alienation of the property of the private school by way of sale, exchange, mortgage, charge, pledge, lease, gift or any other manner whatsoever except with the previous permission in writing of the competent authority and in case this restriction is flouted and transfer effected, the transfer shall be null and void. So far as the competent authority is concerned, under this section, he can grant the permission for transfer only if the transfer is made in furtherance of the purposes of the private school or of similar purposes approved by the competent authority and the assets resulting from the transfer are to be wholly utilized in furtherance of the said purposes. Section 33 deals with utilization of funds and property of private school. Section 34 deals with taking over of management of private school if the educational agency fails to discharge or perform any of the duties or functions imposed under the Act.

307 Section 39 provides for inspection or inquiry by the competent authority. Section 40 requires the educational agency to furnish returns, statistics and other information as the competent authority may from time to time require. Section 46 provides for penalty for not giving information or giving false information. The maximum fine to be imposed under this section is Rs.100/-. Section 47 provides for other penalties. In case of wilful contravention or attempts to contravene or knowingly abetting the contravention, it provides for maximum of Rs.600/- and in the case of a continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to Rs.100/- for every day during which such contravention continues. Rules have been framed exercising powers under Section 66 of the Act. Some of the Rules relevant for our purpose are Rules 3 to 6, 8 to 10, 12, 21, 22, 24 and 27. Rule 3 mentions about the stages of education as pre-primary, primary, middle school, high school and higher secondary school and teachers training institute. Pre-primary schools are classified as pre-basic nursery, kindergarten and Montessori schools. Rule 4 mentions about the competent authorities to grant permission to open a private school or to upgrade an existing school or to open higher standards or additional sections in an existing school. Rule 5 provides that the application for permission has to be in Form-I in respect of pre-primary, primary and middle school and in Form-IA in respect of high schools and Form-IB for upgrading of high school into higher secondary school. This Rule also mentions about the fees to be paid and other formalities to be complied with. Rule 6 deals with grant of permission by the competent authority. There are conditions set out, before there could be grant of permission Rule 8 requires minority schools to send statements in Form-V within three months from the date of opening of the school to the competent authority. Rule 9 deals with the recognition procedure. Rule 10 deals with withdrawal of recognition. Rule 12 requires a school committee to be constituted by every school. Rule 21 requires the educational agency to send the list of properties. Rule 22 deals with restriction of transfer of property of private school. Rule 24 deals with utilization of funds and property of private school and Rule 27 deals with inspection or inquiry by competent authority. 3.1.3. Code of Regulations for Matriculation Schools Regulation 2 defines a school as signifying matriculation school. Regulation 5 provides that the appendices to the Code shall have the same effect as the articles of the Code and shall be treated as part of the Code.

308 Regulation 6 states that the matriculation schools will be considered as a separate entity by the department. Regulation 8 provides that the Code shall be applicable also to higher secondary section of matriculation schools. 9 states that all schools enjoying recognition of the Madras, Madurai Universities as on the 1st of June, 1976 will be recognized by the department on submission of particulars in the proforma prescribed (Annexure-I). It further says that recognition will be accorded from Standards I to X or the standards that actually exist. Regulation 10 (iv) provides for the conditions to be satisfied for the purpose of recognition. Regulation 10 (iv) (i) provides that it shall be open to the competent authority to reject the application of a new school for recognition if he considers that any one of the conditions has not been satisfied. Regulation 11 deals with competent authoritys power to withdraw recognition. 3.1.4. Code of Regulations for Anglo Indian Schools. Regulation 14 deals with conditions of recognition. Note (i), (ii) clause (b) of Regulation 14 provide that rooms used for teaching purposes should provide 11 sq.ft. per pupil where only one class is taught and 16 sq.ft. per pupil where more classes than one are taught in the same rooms, the calculation being made for the number of pupils taught in it. Regulations 18 to 21 deal with withdrawal and renewal of recognition in respect of Anglo Indian Schools. Regulations 31 to 34 deal with site and accommodation, while Regulations 36 to 46 deal with sanitary inspection, over-crowding of class rooms, latrines, protection from small-pox, furniture, library, text books and courses of instruction. is the proforma application for recognition while AppendixII is the proforma sanitary certificate, Appendix-III deals with rules for preparation of sketch plans of school buildings and Appendix IV deals with instructions as to the sanitary and hygienic requirements to be observed in the designing and construction of school buildings in the State of Tamil Nadu. Dealing with roofs under the selection of site in clause 17, it is stated that the roofs should as far as possible be impervious to heat. Thus it could be seen that very elaborate requirements have been set out to be strictly complied with. 3.1.5. In Appendix LL (Chapter VIII, Rule 62) Grant in Aid Code, instructions as to the sanitary and hygienic requirements to be observed in the designing and construction of school buildings in the State of Tamil Nadu have been given. 3.1.6. The Code of Regulations for Approved Nursery and Primary Schools, Tamil Nadu (G.O.Ms.No.484, Education dated 24.4.1991 as amended in G.O. Ms.No.349, Education, dated 31.3.1993). The Code requires all recognized nursery/primary schools to submit particulars in the proforma prescribed (Annexure-I). It further provides that the


Appendices to the Code shall have the same effect as Articles of the Code and shall be treated as part of the Code. Regulation 6 states that the approved primary/nursery schools will be considered as a separate entity by the department. Regulation 8 says that the Code shall be applicable also to preprimary classes Standards I to V of approved nursery/primary schools. Regulation 8(b) contemplates the constitution of a separate Board of Approved Nursery and Primary Schools. Regulation 10 deals with the powers of the competent authority to grant approval. 10 (iii) requires several conditions to be satisfied for the purpose of approval. 10 (iii) (a) requires the educational agency to produce a licence permitting the use of the school building as public building under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act, 1966 (Tamil Nadu Act 13 of 1966). 10(f) provides that no school shall be permitted to function without approval and nobody will be permitted to start the school without approval from the competent authority. 10(h) provides for the appointment of teachers. 10(i) deals with the powers of the competent authority to reject the application in case he considers that any one of the conditions imposed has not been satisfied. 10(j) provides that the Director or Officer authorized by him may visit an approved school during school hours. 10(k) requires the sanitary certificate to be obtained from the competent health authorities. 10(m) says that the approval is given for LKG, UKG, and Standards I to V in English, Tamil medium and other minority languages. Regulation 11 deals with withdrawal of permission. Regulation 14 deals with school hours, working days, etc. It is provided under 14 (iii) (c ) below `the uniform for girls` that admission in excess of 60 pupils in a standard or a section of a standard should not be made without the prior permission of the Director or an officer authorized by him, provided there is sufficient accommodation. There should not be more than 4 sections in a class. Each section should have a separate class room. To open a fifth section for a standard permission should be obtained from the Director or an officer authorized by him. Information shall be given to the Director or an officer authorized by him when a section is closed down. 14(iv) requires that the name of the school should be as found in the approved order and it shall be exhibited prominently in English and Tamil. Regulation 17 deals with the qualification of the staff. Annexure-I proforma deals with the application for the approval of nursery and primary schools. In this clause 16 provides that the school must be holding a licence permitting the use of the school building under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings (Licensing) Act. There are separate rules framed for recognition of and payment of grant to minority schools. There is a proforma provided which requires several details to be furnished as for non-minority schools. It further says that the minority


schools having temporary recognition should apply in the form provided, for the grant of continuance of recognition of such schools or the standards as the case may be, to the authority indicated, not later than three months prior to the date of expiry of the period of temporary recognition. Requirements to be satisfied are set out in Rule 4(4) (a). It says that the amenities to teachers and pupils should be adequate, that the equipment, buildings, laboratory, library and playgrounds and other facilities for imparting instructions must be adequate. Structural stability certificate has to be produced as also a sanitary certificate. The authority is given permission to reject the application for recognition if he considers that any one or more of the requirements have not been satisfied. There is also a form provided for application for recognition of minority schools. Clause 14 deals with the structural stability certificate and sanitary certificate.


CHAPTER- IV Status-Observations-Tamil Nadu Scenario 4.1. The literacy rate of Tamil Nadu in comparison to India census of India, 2001, is given below. Country India Tamil Nadu Male 76.86 83.33 Female 64.16 64.66 according to the

Average Percentage 66.38 73.47

4.2. The State of Tamil Nadu is well placed in literacy rate at the National level. This is due to the efforts of the Government in providing easy access to schools in almost all habitations. There are about 63980 habitations in the State of Tamil Nadu. All the habitations within 1 km have been provided with primary schools and habitations within 3 km have been provided with middle schools. 4.3. The structure of education in the State of Tamil Nadu is based on the National Level Pattern with 12 years of schooling consisting of 8 years of elementary education that is 5 years of primary, and 3 years of middle school education for the age groups 6 to 10 and 11 to 14 respectively followed by secondary and higher secondary education of 2 years each besides a possible 2 years of pre-primary education. There are 4 main categories of schools viz. the Government run schools (including Municipal and Panchayat Union Schools),the aided and unaided management schools, the Nursery and Primary Schools, and the Matriculation Schools. The last two categories are unaided by Government run on a fee levying basis. Number of Government Schools in the State - A Break up Primary Middle High School 2073 Higher Secondary School 1669



4.4. To have a feel of the status of the school system in Tamil Nadu, the Commission, as per the second limb of the terms of reference, undertook an extensive spot inspection of schools in the various districts of Tamil Nadu. A comprehensive questionnaire was formulated involving the Department of School Education to be responded to, by the school managements in the State. At the request of the Commission, the Chief Educational Officers in the thirty districts including Chennai, identified schools, which in their view were vulnerable. The 4101 schools identified as vulnerable out of 49816 schools in the state is not a very significant number. Even at the time of salvage from the crisis, only 4136 schools had thatched roofs which were replaced with less inflammable material on a war


footing. Even on this score, the schools with shortcomings did not touch a high figure. 4.5. Between the first of November 2004 and the 12th of March 2006, the Commission along with the members of the Panel constituted by the Government visited 2661 schools all over the state. The number includes school within schools, recognized, unrecognized, permitted, not permitted, approved and unapproved. Some of them were merely seen, many visited and most of them inspected. The general inspection observations and the remedial steps to be taken are dealt with under relevant heads in this second part of the report. 4.6 The Government have made tremendous strides to improve the infrastructure of its schools through implementation of various schemes under SSA, NABARD, Rural Development to name a few. This was also observed by the Commission and the Panel Members during the spot inspection, details of which are furnished as under. 4.7. While providing easy access to schools, the Government are also providing infrastructure facilities such as class room buildings, laboratory, toilets and drinking water, to all Government schools to impart quality education. The Government of Tamil Nadu have implemented various schemes such as Self Sufficiency Scheme, Operation Black Board Scheme, District Primary Education Project (DPEP) Scheme, Eleventh Finance Commission Scheme, Area Intensive Programme for educationally backward minorities and Prime Minister's Gramodaya Yojana (PMGY) programme in providing infrastructure facilities in Government Elementary and Middle Schools. Besides the Self Sufficiency Scheme and the Local Area Development Schemes, the various other schemes implemented in the recent years towards improvement of infrastructure facilities are detailed below. Sl. No. 1. Name of the scheme Class room buildings 2167 Toilets Drinking Water --

Operation Blackboard Scheme - (1986-87 to 2001-02) DPEP scheme (1994-96 to 2001-02) 11th Finance Commission Scheme (2001-02 to 2003-04) PMGY Scheme (20012002)


2. 3.

1900 46

1496 1146

1472 3638





4.8. As per statistics made available, the Government have been implementing SSA programmes from the year 2001-2002 for provision of infrastructural facilities in Standards 1-8 of Government Primary, Middle, High and


Higher Secondary schools. So far, 16644 class rooms and 7329 toilets have been constructed in schools; 6479 schools have been provided with drinking water. The total cost involved in all the three components is Rs.269.04 crores. It is proposed to construct 8679 class rooms 6279 toilets and to provide drinking water in 3068 schools during 2005-2006. The remaining few Government schools would be provided with complete infrastructure facilities of class rooms, drinking water and toilets before the end of the 10th plan i.e., 2007. This is indicative of the priority given to education by the State. 4.9. Despite the marathon efforts of the Government in this direction there do exist many Government high and higher secondary schools which require basic infrastructure facilities in view of the increasing student strength. The Government had anticipated this and to tide over the situation, had formulated a new scheme in the year 2001-2002 itself, to receive financial assistance from NABARD to provide the basic infrastructure facilities to all the Government high and higher secondary schools. So far, infrastructure facilities have been sanctioned to 606 High and Higher Secondary Schools in three phases at a cost of Rs.182.74 crores. In the fourth and the fifth phases 649 schools will be provided with class rooms and other facilities at a cost of Rs.232.10 crores. About 2100 schools will be covered in the next few years. Even the newly opened high and higher secondary schools are covered under this scheme. 4.10 Government have also sanctioned a sum of Rs. 71.03 crores from Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation corpus fund for construction of laboratory buildings in 840 Government High and Higher Secondary Schools. In addition, class rooms, toilets and drinking water facilities are provided through Parent Teacher Association, MLA/MP Constituency Area Development Scheme. Besides the above schemes, drinking water facilities and toilet facilities are provided to schools under Accelerated Rural Water Supply scheme and Total Sanitation Programme. 4.11. District Profile 4.11.1. Infrastructure: The term infrastructure refers to the physical facilities provided in the school complex. It includes buildings with class rooms, playground, furniture, library, laboratory, toilets and other equipment, essential for imparting education. The conditions imposed in the various regulations have to be strictly complied with for recognition, approval or permission, but in actual practice they are honoured more in their breach than in their observation. 4.11.2. Recognition of the nursery schools, which have proliferated like mushrooms do not have the mandatory recognition and are run in dull, claustrophobic residential buildings which have derelict structures with a single entrance, cramped windowless classrooms, narrow staircases, unhygienic toilets, without safe drinking water, proper ventilation, fire safety systems, playgrounds or libraries. Some of those who flaunt recognition/approval/permission documents have not obtained them by fair means. The schools are there in by-lanes, on roof tops and in sheds and are run by greedy managements. Poor children are packed like sardines in a tin. Many matriculation schools and primary schools run pre KG, LKG and UKG schools, on the sly, without approval permission/recognition from the


Education Department. When the Commission visited such schools and put the specific question to the school authorities, they lied through their teeth, but when actually confronted with indisputable evidence available on site, such as the presence of children below primary class age in the class rooms where LKG and UKG boards were displayed on the door frames, they had no plausible answer. The Commission also saw in several schools children of pre-school age group being confined in locked rooms so as to conceal the improper and illegal activity of the management from the knowledge of the Commission. There has been a total violation of the mandatory requirements as found in the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings Licensing Act, 1966, and the Codes of Regulations for the Matriculation and Approved Nursery and Primary Schools. The Commission came across several cases where the procedure for obtaining licence to use a premises as a public building had either been totally ignored or bypassed on account of the unscrupulous conduct of the so called chartered engineers, who are required to issue certificates of structural stability to a construction before it could be licensed as a public building. The sanitary certificates required are also a dime a dozen. The officials responsible for issuing sanitary certificates do not even visit the school concerned but sell sanitary certificates. The competent authority under the Act, viz., the Tahsildar purports to act on the false stability and sanitary certificates and issues D Form Licence for a stated period to the applicant for having a public building with the result where not even five of a family can comfortably live, 200, 300 children are huddled. More often than not, the building in question does not have a plan approved by the Corporation Municipality/Panchayat concerned. It is also not uncommon to obtain a licence under the Licensing Act for a particular building and run the institution elsewhere. The powers of inspection for ascertaining the structural soundness of any building and to issue orders prohibiting the use of the building as a public building if the building is in a ruinous state etc. are never invoked. Till the coming into force of the Regulations for Approved Nursery and Primary schools, those schools were governed by the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools Regulation Act. Under the Act, as already noted, private school is defined to include pre-primary which will be treated as a separate entity. Some of the `Big` schools claimed that they were running the pre-primary schools for a long time and of course without recognition, suggesting thereby, that they need not obtain permission or recognition. This was also prior to the coming into force of the regulations. Even under the Private Schools Act, pre primary classes needed recognition and they had to satisfy infra structure requirements. The class rooms have to be well ventilated and safe with adequate space. There must be separate playground available. At the time of submitting the annual statement to the Education Department, the existence of the pre primary school is not mentioned, the entire property is shown to belong to the other school- either the matriculation school or the higher secondary. But the pre primary is run in the same school premises in utter disregard of the law. There are specific provisions prohibiting dealing with the property of the school in any manner whatsoever without express permission from the education department. But then, these are given a go bye. It is highly improper and illegal on the part of the managements to flout the law. The safety standards are sacrificed and the lives of the children in these schools are put in jeopardy. These children are as much precious as those in the other schools. Further, when the legal position is that the pre primary is a separate entity by itself, it should be segregated


from the other school(s) which are inside the same compound and independent and separate infrastructural facilities should be ensured to such a pre-primary school. 4.12. As pointed out by Dr. S.V. Chittibabu in his reports most of the managements are in the hands of individuals with no genuine concern for fostering quality in child education except to make a fast buck by exploiting the craze of parents living in urban and rural areas for an English medium education right from the LKG Class itself, in the belief that such a type of education alone would equip their wards adequately for the challenging demand of professional courses later. The aberrant behaviour of managements has to be disciplined schools run as commercial proposition have to be weeded out. 4.13. Buildings. 4.13.1. Many of the vulnerable schools inspected by the Commission, have buildings which are not in good shape and are a picture of neglect. They had developed cracks both vertical and horizontal. The walls had lost stability and the buildings may collapse any moment. Some of the buildings have been abandoned as not habitable and they are a threat to the safety of the children. They are eyesores and have to be knocked down. The rules regarding demolition are obsolete and have to be amended to be in tune with the present requirements. There are also buildings not so badly damaged which can be repaired well and classes conducted. In some schools, the parapets were poorly constructed and are likely to give way anytime. Such schools are indicated individually in the district wise tables. 4.13.2. In many schools, rainwater stagnates in the terrace as the drains are blocked with withered leaves and other rubbish accumulated in the terrace and the consequence of this neglect is reflected on the crumbling ceilings with cracks and exposed rusted iron rods posing serious danger. 4.13.3. In many schools, the classes were very crowded, the floors and the walls were damaged, the students were made to sit on floors. In some places rows of classes had single entry/exit points. The class rooms were maintained very poorly. 4.4.4. It is gratifying to note that a good portion of M.Ps. and M.L.As. funds are utilized for putting up school buildings. But in many places, the team saw that the space earmarked for play grounds for the schools, has been used up for such buildings. This is not proper. Damaged old buildings in lieu of which, the new buildings are put up, have to be demolished and new buildings have to be constructed in the resultant vacant area. The M.Ps. and M.L.As. should not also insist on independent buildings bearing their names. They should allow one floor over another. As long as their names are prominently displaced they should feel happy. 4.14. Compounds Many management/government schools need compounds on all four sides. Compound walls are particularly needed where the schools abut public highway, waterways, ponds etc. They are also needed to prevent encroachment and unauthorized occupation by outsiders. In many places, the team found school space being used as passage, to their homes, by adjacent dwellers.


4.15. Municipal and Panchayat Schools: Conditions in municipal schools are appalling. They will get the top marks for poor maintenance. There were no desks and benches. Classes were crowded. Buildings were heavily damaged. There are Panchayat Union Schools in various districts with very poor strength. The students enrolled there are lured away by the close by private schools. In several places, teachers in government schools, municipal schools and panchayat schools promote private schools and take away the students. They themselves stay away from their schools of employment and teach in those schools. If that is found not practicable, they teach after school hours in those schools. There is not only lack of commitment in those teachers but also positive disloyalty to their employer, viz., the Government. There is no work ethic or a realization among some of them that they must work for their employer and earn their salary. The reason for such an attitude is not far to seek. The security of tenure with the added attraction of there being no compulsion to work and hence no accountability makes service in Government, municipal and panchayat schools irresistible. The teaching profession has metamorphosed from nobility to a safe and profitable business venture a money spinning racket. Businessmen are triumphing; genuine educationists are a poor second. 4.16. Playgrounds: As regards playgrounds, there is a big racket going on. Many schools show a single playground as playground for more than one school. But then under the recognition provisions the schools are to have independent exclusive infrastructure facilities which include playgrounds. The schools also, in their annual statements submitted to the department, vouch for the infrastructural facilities. However this is only on paper. In actual practice, the schools do not stand by their declaration. During the inspection by the commission and its panel members, it was found that many schools did not have playgrounds or had playgrounds common with other schools or had given false information on the availability of playgrounds. Many schools had also put up construction in the area earmarked for playground. Some schools had open agricultural or other types of land obtained on lease in the name of play space. These were not maintained either. Further they were located far away from the school making it impossible for the students to use them. So the children were deprived of the right to joy and play. Government schools were found to have a vast expanse of play space but no means to maintain them. There was deficit in manpower and money power necessary for maintenance. So the ground was not even and girls and boys suffered injuries rom falls. In one particular school in Pudukottai District, heard the Head Master say that the soil there is of a peculiar nature because of which the ground became very hard. Levelling the ground was also a problem. Students often suffered from falls. The injuries sustained thus, took a long time to heal. Some intended play spaces were found to have abundant bushes, the hazardous prickly pear included and these might harbour dangerous lizards like snakes and other poisonous insects.


4.17. Electrical Wiring: In many places the team saw electrical wiring exposed and in bad shape posing imminent danger. Earthing was poor or non- existent. Fans and lights were not in working condition and precariously hanging. The mains were also exposed without any cover. Although leakage through electrical products has been the cause of several accidents, human error topped the bill. Ignorance and over confidence are the prime reasons for the cause of electrical accidents. 4.18. Noon Meal Centres: Some noon meal centres are potential danger zones. Coconut thatch and fronds are used as fuel. The smoke outlet is not functional. The kitchen is flanked by classrooms and toilets on either side in some of the places. The kitchen buildings themselves are damaged. 4.19. Wells, water sumps, septic tanks, ponds, etc.: In some schools wells, water sumps and septic tanks were not properly covered. The motor and the pump set were kept in the class rooms endangering the life of everyone. The team found ponds, lakes, etc. without barricades; coverless drains, potholes in streets, near many schools.

4.20. Toilets: In many schools toilet facilities were poor. The toilets even if they were there, were not clean and functional- no running water was provided. 4.21. Waste etc. In several schools, the team found hazardous and inflammable waste, rubbish, damaged furniture, old iron rods and several unwanted things accumulated in class rooms or hoisted on the lofts inside the classrooms. These may fall on the children resulting in serious consequences. There was no separation of hazardous areas from the main school. 4.22. Fire Safety: Not many schools have kept fire safety equipment or the conventional buckets with water and sand. In many schools higher classes were functioning in the ground floor and the lower classes in the higher floors. 4.23. In some schools the team found huge telephone towers being installed at the top of the school buildings. (Of course the management is receiving a sizable sum from the companies concerned. This may also cause serious accident.) 4.24. In the tabular statements furnished below the schools are classified under three heads Good Bad Indifferent.


4.25.1. Good schools qualify on the basis of their providing infrastructure facilities and other amenities and should maintain the same and strive to improve. 4.25.2. Bad schools are bad and have to go. They are bracketed as bad because of basic lack of amenities, major damage to the buildings, poor infrastructure facilities and other hazards which can pave the way for serious accidents jeopardizing the lives of the students studying there. In the case of these schools, the conditions imposed for obtaining recognition are more honoured in their breach than in their observance. In these schools either the buildings are damaged irreparably and are veritable death traps which may result in more Kumbakonams or the other infrastructure facilities are so abysmally bad and the atmosphere is not conducive for proper learning, that the schools have to go. Many of these schools may also be functioning without mandatory recognition from the Department of Education. 4.25.3. Indifferent schools are so anointed/categorized because the managements are indifferent about the infrastructure facilities obtaining in these schools. With a little effort these schools can join the good schools brigade. The shortcomings may range from the noon meal kitchens being damaged, in unhygienic surroundings close to the toilets, with poor smoke escape possibility or situated adjoining the classrooms the buildings lacking in proper ventilation, free passage, adequate number of staircases, electrical lines being sloppy without proper wiring and earthing, the laboratories being ill-equipped without necessary precautions against leakage of gas resulting in major accidents, poor housekeeping so on and so forth. Even schools, which deserve the appellation `good, are in many cases put in the `I slot because they run nursery and pre-nursery classes without the mandatory recognition from the Education Department. It is time these schools realized their folly and made amends by seeking recognition. 4.26. Norms prescribed under the Acts, Rules, Regulations, etc. have to be strictly adhered to. Clear mandatory instructions have to be issued to that effect. If not complied with, penal consequences should follow. Stern and deterrent action is to be taken against erring authorities. Statutory legal backing with far reaching amendments is called for. Such Acts shall explicitly point out the persons empowered to penalize and the quantum of penalty for specific breach of violation. 4.27. Given elsewhere are the details relating to schools visited by the team in each district and the observations relating to those schools in the form of tabular statements. Along with the tabular statements for the districts, photographs of several schools visited are also annexed. Most of the photographs speak for themselves about the shortcomings. However, wherever necessary, comments on the photographs have been made side by side. Copies of the tabular statements may be forwarded to the Chief Educational Officers of the District for suitable follow up action. 4.28. The Commission and the Panel members had inspected 2661 schools with shortcomings, in the State. They have been categorized as per norms satisfied, as Good, Bad and Indifferent. In order to complete the picture, the Inspecting Officers should undertake an extensive inspection of all the schools in their respective districts and categorize them accordingly. This way the


shortcomings of the schools could be assessed in order to work out a time frame to improve their status. 4.29. Thirty seven flash statistics sheets with bar and pi diagrams which would help in visualizing the status of the schools inspected are appended to this part of the report.



1. 2. 3. 4.

A thorough review of the recognition / approval granted to the existing schools has to be undertaken. As far as safety norms are concerned, those schools which have not complied with them should be asked to set right the shortcomings within a months time. Other infrastructural aspects may be improved over a period of 3 to 6 months. With reference to those schools who have not obtained permission / approval / recognition, strict compliance with and micro level fulfillment of norms should be ensured by the Inspecting Officer concerned, through physical verification before recommending for permission / approval / recognition. Conditional recognition / approval should never be resorted to. A time frame should be worked out. a. Filing of applications by the managements of these schools -2 months b. Processing and grant of recognition / approval or rejection by the Department - 1 month.

5. 6.

7. 8. 9.

Periodical monitoring through spot inspection towards upkeep of the infrastructure has to be ensured. Crash Training Course for the Teachers on Crisis Management and First Aid. The exponential growth in the number of nursery schools over a short span of time calls for an immediate constitution of a separate Directorate for Nursery Schools to regulate and monitor their functioning. A State Level Committee headed by the Director to undertake surprise random checks.


5.2. TOP TEN COMMANDMENTS 1. Classrooms to be well lit, ventilated, with more than one door.



Blue print for Crisis management - Orientation for students and teachers. First Aid - provision. Safe transportation - No over loading of Autos, Vans, Buses Reduce Book load. Clean, well ventilated space for taking food. Clean, safe drinking water to be provided. Corporal punishment - any physical harassment - total ban. At least 4 Games classes per week. Periodical Health Check-ups, Health education lectures / demonstrations to be arranged. Toilets - enough in number and with adequate water supply.

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.


5.3. SCHOOL BUILDING (Future) Location Site - The 10 Commandments 1. The minimum land for school buildings shall be proportional to the number of students with sufficient space for future expansion. Each school should have sufficient space for easy movement, playground, assembly, etc. The open space inside and around the school building should allow enough light and ventilation inside the building. The open space should be directly proportional to the height of the building. The site of the school building should not open directly to the National/State Highways with heavy vehicular traffic. The site should not be close to water holding bodies, forests, etc. The site should not be in the neighbourhood of garbage dumps, dusty and noisy roads or factories. The site should not be surrounded by high-rise buildings preventing light and free air circulation.



4. 5.

6. 7.




Compound wall all-round the boundary of the site shall be preferable. In the case of fencing, barbed wire fencing shall be avoided. There shall be one entrance to the school premises of width directly proportional to the student strength of the school.


5.4. CONSTRUCTION - The 10 Commandments

1. 2.

School buildings should be strongly founded on hard strata. School buildings shall preferably be of `A Class construction, i.e. with brick/stone masonry walls with RCC roofing. Only non-combustible materials shall be used for the construction of school buildings. The building shall be water tight and shall not have leaky roof. The walls and ceiling shall be white washed for bright lighting inside the classrooms. The flooring should be either of plain cement concrete of 26 mm. thickness or finished with kota stone/kadappa stone/non slippery ceramic tiles The maximum number of floors in the school should be 1+ 2 (Ground + First + Second Floors). Lower classes (up to Standard III) should always be in the ground floor. The basement height shall be not less than 30 cm. There should be a covered verandah in front of each classroom of width not less than 1.80 metres.


4. 5.



8. 9. 10.

5.5. STAIRCASE & EXITS - The 10 Commandments

1. 2. 3. 4.

The staircases- also exits in an emergency shall be of 1.6 metre clear width. There shall be at least one staircase for every 6 classrooms. Each flight of steps should not be more than 16. The mid-landing should be not less than 1.60 metres width.


5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Staircases should be continuous from the ground level to the terrace level. The external exit doors of the staircase at the ground level should open directly to the open space. The exit doors should be not less than 2 metres in width + 2.10 metres in height. The travel distance to the staircase from any part of the upper floors should not be more than 22.60 metres. The door to the terrace should always be kept closed. The parapet walls in the open terrace should be at least 23 cm. width and 100 cm. height.

5.6. CLASSROOMS - The 10 Commandments


The minimum size of the classroom should be 6 m. x 6 m. or 400 sq.ft. for a student strength not exceeding 40. The thickness of walls should be not less than 23 cms. The height of the classroom from floor level to bottom of roof shall be not less than 3.06 metres. Each classroom shall have at least 2 door 2 window openings. Doors should be made of either non-combustible material or materials with high fire-resistance rating. Doors shall always open outwards. Door shutters when open should not obstruct movement along the exit or escape route. Windows should be provided at regular intervals to ensure uniform lighting inside the classrooms. No guard bars for windows in the ground floor. However, guard bars of 10 cm. spacing should be provided for all windows in upper floors. Windows shall be made of non-combustible material or materials with high

2. 3.

4. 5.

6. 7.





fire resistance rating.

5.7. EXISTING BUILDINGS - The 10 Commandments 1. Schools without sufficient space for expansion should not be permitted to increase enrolment. Schools without enough space inside and around the building should be asked to look for alternative building. All combustible materials used in the buildings to be replaced with noncombustible materials or materials with high fire-resistance rating within a set time frame. Provision of additional doors in classrooms and main entrance to ensure sufficient emergency exits. Doors to open outwards. Size of the main exit doors to be enlarged to ensure evacuation within 21/2 minutes from any floor. Additional staircases to be provided in buildings with more than one floor. Fire safety plan to be developed in co-operation with the Fire Department. School plan showing exits to be displayed prominently along with emergency Telephone Number. Fire Exit Drills to be conducted regularly in co-operation with Fire Service authorities. Fire Alarm to be provided in each floor. Fire fighting arrangements to be made. Schools buildings should be insured. Group Insurance of School Pupils can also be undertaken. Lightning conductors to be provided in each school.




5. 6. 7.




5.8. FIRE SAFETY MEASURES IN SCHOOLS - The 10 Commandments 1 2 Adequate number of fire extinguishers to be provided. Provision of water tank with separate piping and hose reel to ground and first floors. Fire fighting training to all teachers. Fire fighting training to students from X to XII Standards.

3 4


5 6 7 8

First Aid Training to all teachers. Provision of First Aid Boxes with a resuscitator. Provision of PVC gloves, Apron and face/eye protection. Committee of Headmaster and two teachers to monitor the above and make fire safety inspections once in every three months. Display of emergency telephone numbers and list of persons to be contacted in the notice board and other prominent places. Mock drills to be conducted regularly. Fire Alarm to be provided in each floor. Separate long bell arrangement in case of emergency. Teachers to be given whistles.


5.9. FURNITURE AND LABORATORY - The 10 Commandments


Furniture should be suitable to students and free from protruding nails, sharp metal pieces and sharp edges. Furniture should be coated with fire retardant paints or fabricated out of fire resistant material. Furniture should be provided to all students within a class without discrimination. Condemned furniture should not be stacked in the class rooms or lofts, but disposed off. Laboratory furniture should be protected from corrosion by chemicals, etc. Wooden work tables should be coated with fire retardant paints or topped with kadappa slabs. LPG cylinder should be placed outside the laboratory within a ventilated chamber. All concentrated or strong chemical bottles should be arranged in a separate tray filled with sand. Experiments involving gas, electricity, to be done with special care in the presence of teachers. Exhaust fans to be provided in the laboratory.




5. 6.






5.10. ELECTRICAL SAFETY - The 10 Commandments 1 2 Electrical wiring should be of approved standards and materials The quality of electrical equipment used should be brought under the scanner. Electrical wires should be within conduit pipes and not left open and hanging loose. Proper insulation and earthing should be provided. Tripper system should be introduced./Earth leakage circuit breaker for each electrical equipment. Main boxes, switch boards and meters must be away from the reach of children. Switch Boards should be covered with wooden boxes. No motor or pump-set inside the classroom/laboratory. Periodical inspection by Electricity Board authorities should be made mandatory. No HT lines and transformers inside or close to the school.

4 5

7 8 9


5.11. PLAY SPACE SAFETY - The 10 Commandments 1 Enough play space should be provided for each school. prescribed should be strictly adhered to. RIPEs (M&W) to coordinate with CEOs Play space should be levelled and maintained. The norms

2 3

Bushes likely to harbour dangerous, poisonous creatures should be removed from the play space. Play space should not be far away from the school. Water bodies, viz. ponds, stagnant water should be fenced. Open gutters, garbage pit, etc. should be covered. Play space should not be hired to outsiders for public functions, carnivals,

4 5 6 7


etc. to mobilize resources. 8 9 10 Play space should not be leased out for putting up shops. Play space should not be shared with other schools. Play space should be fenced.

5.12. AMENITIES - The 10 Commandments 1 Clean, potable drinking water should be provided to all students. Drinking water supply should not be near the toilets. Storage tank should be cleaned regularly. Pipelines should be maintained so as to prevent leakage and wastage of water. Enough urinals and toilets with copious water supply should be provided. Toilets should be cleaned frequently and maintained. Ayahs/Attenders should be appointed to attend to nursery class students. Separate toilets for girls and boys - away from each other. Toilets should not be near the noon meal kitchen. Waste water from kitchen may be recycled/treated and used for cleaning toilets. Water storage tanks and septic tanks to be closed properly and securely. Gutters should be closed. Health Inspectors should conduct surprise checks of school toilets.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8


5.13. NOON MEAL KITCHEN - The 10 Commandments 1 Noon meal kitchens should be well ventilated and lighted and maintained hygienically. Noon meal kitchens should not be located near the class rooms or toilets. Proper chimney should be provided for the smoke to escape. No thatch or frond to be used as fuel. Fuel should not be stacked in the kitchen. Biogas can be thought of as an alternative fuel.

2 3 4


5 6 7

Children should not be allowed inside the kitchen. Fire extinguisher should be placed near the kitchen. Personal cleanliness of the Noon Meal Organizer, cook and helpers should be ensured. Cooking and feeding vessels should be spic and span. Two teachers to be on duty to supervise the cooking and serving of food. They should taste the food before it is served. Mixed sambar rice may be served. BDO/Municipal Commissioner should make surprise visits to the school noon meal kitchen.

8 9


5.14. TRANSPORTATION - The 10 Commandments 1 School buses, vans, auto rickshaws used in the transportation of students should ensure safety measures. They should be fitted with speed governors. The condition of these vehicles should be maintained roadworthy and checked by school authorities periodically. An attendant besides the driver should conduct the students while commuting. No film songs. No cell phone while driving The vehicles should on no account be overloaded. The trips should be scheduled in such a way that no student needs to travel for more than 2030 minutes. A photograph of a child/children/family photograph of the driver may be displayed in front of the drivers seat. Important telephone numbers for emergency purposes may be displayed inside/outside the bus. The school bus should have the name of the school painted boldly outside. Public Transport buses may be timed to match the school. timings. I.D. Cards with photographs should be worn by the Driver and the Conductor of even private vehicles.

7 8 9



Parents should also get their children ready to leave for school on time, as soon as the van arrives to avoid constant horning and disturbing neighbours - aged, patients, infants - besides causing noise pollution.

5.15 MOVEMENT OF PUPILS AND TEACHERS - SAFETY AND DISCIPLINE - The 10 commandments. 1 Teachers should be present in the school before the bell rings to conduct the children to the assembly / prayer. Students should move in a single file and assemble in the places allotted to them. Students should be trained to move in a single file in an orderly manner while leaving the school. Students should not hold on to the shoulder of the previous student while going down the stairs. Children should be trained not to spill food and water while having snacks / lunch. Children should not leave the school premises during working hours. No class should be left without a teacher. Teachers should be the last to leave the classroom. Teachers should have whistles to be blown at times of emergency. Staggering of dispersal of classes--lower classes to be let off first, followed by higher classes. The school bell should strike the lunch hour and final period in a slow, deliberate and phased manner to avoid excited exodus of children leading to accident.

6 7 8


5.16. THE LOAD OF THE SCHOOL BAG - The 10 commandments. 1 Weight of the school bag not more than 10-16 % of the total body weight of the child. Text books should be replaced by work books / sheets up to standard III. Home work to be restructured so as not to be text book oriented. Text books should be kept in school and given to students as and when

2 3 4


required. 5 Text books to be divided into three parts to coincide with the three terms of the school. Volume of note books also to be reduced according to the text books. There should be three note books. Test note books also may be three in number. Greater use of the electronic media may be encouraged by arranging regular telecast of programmes addressed to students and teachers. Examination system may be reformed. Action Research to be undertaken in this area.

7 8

9 10

5.17. PROFESSIONAL TEACHER PREPARATION - The 10 Commandments 1 2 3 Only persons with aptitude should be inducted into the teaching profession. Teacher Education should be made highly professional. Teacher Education curriculum to be restructured and made learner-centred and socially relevant. Change over from conventional to integrated programmes. Building managerial skills, organizational efficiencies, leadership qualities, democratic attitudes, innovative and creative abilities in the trainees should be the aim of Teacher Education. Teacher Education should be more practical oriented than theory based. Teacher Training Institutions should have strong linkage with schools to translate their 'teachings' in to 'action' / practice. Teacher Trainees should be prepared to interact with the community more closely to improve enrolment and retention while bringing down drop out and detention. Action Research should be in-built. Research findings should be disseminated among community in simple language and transmitted to policy framing bodies. Competencies to deal with special children should be achieved by Teacher Trainees.

4 5

6 7



5.18 1

- 10 Do-s and Don't-s to the Management "Honesty is the best policy" should be followed in letter and spirit in their mission to serve humanity in the cause of education. Rules and Regulations are not to be violated in public interest. Infrastructure requirements should be strictly adhered to There should not be more than one school in a premises. Recognition to be proper and obtained on time. Safety manual to be made available in the school and the instructions therein followed scrupulously. Electrical and Fire safety measures to be meticulously followed. Discipline and safety to be taken care of in the movement of teachers and pupils in the campus. Noon meal kitchen should be away from class rooms and toilets. Corporal punishment to be dispensed with School vans should not be overcrowded. GUIDELINES TO THE DEPARTMENT A check list to be prepared. Physical verification of infrastructural facilities by First level officer before recommending for permission / recognition is mandatory. Physical verification of infrastructure by First level officer at least once a year is mandatory. No temporary / conditional permission / recognition should be granted. Inspection mechanism should be rigorous and vigorous. Processing of Applications for recognition / permission should be expeditiously executed. There should be only one school in a premises. All safety measures viz., building, fire, electrical etc., to be enforced. Hygiene and sanitation to be ensured.

2 3 4 5

6 7

8 9 10 5.19. 1 2

4 5 6

7 8


A ban on corporal implemented.

punishment should be strictly enforced and


Information provided in the application for permission / recognition to be scrutinized with utmost care.



Be honest, lawful and accurate in reporting. Signal the weaknesses in the society in a constructive way. Concentrate on the process and the causes. Awake and inform the general public. Show consideration and courtesy to ones privacy. Do not sensationalize or distort. Do not put into the mouth of somebody which she or he never uttered. Do not pander to the voyeuristic prurience of your readers and viewers. Do not allow ends and means to get blurred. Do not stand at the sidelines and criticize.


CHAPTER- VI Infrastructure 6.1. PHYSICAL FEATURES 6.1.1. SCHOOL BUILDINGS a. Although there are rules regarding the building of Government and aided elementary, middle, secondary and higher secondary schools, it cannot be said that these schools have been constructed strictly in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down, may be, due to paucity of funds or locational constraints especially in congested urban areas. b. Further, one of the main aims of education reform and probably the best means of going about it--- is to involve the stakeholders in decision-making. This may mean a certain degree of decentralization --or transferring responsibility to regional or local level -- encouraging individuals and communities; and more generally, encouraging innovation and participation by all. (Case study -- In Lalgudi and Manachanallur, Tiruchirappalli -- Girls and Boys Government Higher Secondary Schools -- buildings for schools purposes and worth more than 40, 60 lakhs have been built with resources mobilized by Headmasters/ Headmistresses through PTAs and local leaders) c. While the Local Body, the PWD, the Police, the Fire Service and the Social Welfare Department have to join hands with the Education Department to provide safety, security, escape and warning, the society should fulfill its responsibility in this venture. PTAs must be really PTAs and not bogus ones. d. However, at present, funds are not a constraint since funds are being made available through various channels namely, 1) Sarva Siksha Abyan (SSA) a Government of India Scheme, (2). MLA and MPs Local Area Development Fund (3) NABARD Financial Assistance,(4) Accelerated Rural Water Supply Scheme(5) Total Sanitation Programme,(6) PTA and (7) Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation, either for the construction of buildings or for improving the infrastructural facilities. e. In this report, the minimum provisions to be made available in the educational institutions right from nursery schools to higher secondary schools with regard to the space, orientation, type of construction, number of storeys, staircases, the size of class rooms, minimum head room, the number of door ways, windows, ventilators, sanitary fitments, water supply, illumination, etc. to be provided, are outlined. f. The provisions now suggested are generally in conformity with the National Building Code of India brought out by the Bureau of Indian Standards and the instructions as to the sanitary and hygienic requirements to be observed in the designing and construction of school buildings in the state of Tamil Nadu as found in Appendix LL Chapter VIII Rule 62 of The Grant-in-Aid Code of the Tamil Nadu Educational Department.

334 FUTURE BUILDINGS: The minimum requirements to be provided in the Educational Institutions (right from Nursery to Higher Secondary) are listed out below: SITE (a) The minimum extent of land for constructing school building shall be decided taking into account the number of class rooms, student strength, locality(non residential area) etc. by the Education Department. However, free space for easy movement and sufficient space for play ground, assembly, etc. shall be made available in each school campus. These should be specific for each individual school as a unit, and not a school complex as is observed in many aided/self financing institutions. Students over and above the optimum numbers should not be admitted. For example, a school started with 600 students and infrastructure for the same, should necessarily increase its infrastructure proportionate to any increase in enrolment - say 6 years hence. (b) The open space inside and around the school building shall be sufficient to cater the requirements of lighting and ventilation inside the building. (c) The open space to be left inside the school campus shall be directly proportionate to the height of the building as specified in the NBC. (d) The site for school building should not open directly to the National Highways / State Highways with heavy vehicular traffic. (e) Sites for schools should not be very close to the water holding bodies. In the case of existing schools, suitable barricades / fences should be provided. (f) While selecting the site for schools, neighbourhood of garbage dumps, dusty and noisy roads and factories should as far as possible be avoided. (g) Sufficient space for future expansion or increase in the number of class rooms shall be available in the site selected. (h) The site shall not as far as possible be surrounded by high-rise buildings preventing light and free air circulation inside the school campus. (i) Compound walls all-round the boundary of the site shall be preferable. In the case of fencing, barbed wire fencing shall be avoided. (j) There shall be one entrance of sufficient width to the school premises and the width to be provided shall be directly proportionate to the student strength of the school. Note: School buildings in hill stations are separately dealt with. ORIENTATION OF THE BUILDINGS: (a) The building shall preferably be oriented in north-south direction to minimize radiation of heat from the walls. (The long walls shall face north and south). (b) The orientation of the buildings inside the campus shall be in such a way that proper air circulation and lighting from north is available for all the buildings inside the campus. (c) There shall be open space all round the building and the width of the open space shall be not less than 3 metres so that there will be proper lighting and ventilation.

335 TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION (a) The school buildings shall be completed in a more stable manner and buildings should be strongly founded on hard strata. Framed structures shall be preferred. (b) The school buildings shall preferably be of A class construction (i.e.) with brick / stone masonry walls with RCC roofing. Where it is not possible to provide RCC roofing, the roofing (c) should be in conformity with the PWD norms. Solar reflective coating as recommended by NITT Trichy may also be thought of. (d) Only non-combustible fire proof heat resistant materials shall be used for the construction of school buildings. In the case of Mangalore Tiled Roofing / AC Sheet Roofing, the under structure supporting the roof shall be with noncombustible materials or with materials of high fire resistance rating. (e) The building shall be water tight and shall not have leaky roof. (f) The internal walls shall have smooth plaster finish. There shall not be any projections / bushings in the internal walls. (g) The surfaces of the walls and ceiling shall be white washed, so as to have bright lighting inside the class rooms. Colour washing or painting with dark colours for the interior of the buildings shall be totally avoided. (h) The flooring shall be with materials which are washable. Plain cement concrete flooring of minimum 26mm thickness is preferable considering the weight transmitted to the floor and considering the possible rough movement of the desks / benches. (i) There shall be a covered verandah in front of class rooms. The clear width of the verandah shall be not less than 1.80 metre. Verandahs in upper floors should be enclosed with expanded metal / grill. The verandahs shall be kept open at either end so that there is no hindrance for free movement at normal times and easy exit in emergencies. (j) The basement height shall not be less than 30 cm. (k) When the height of the basement is more than 60 cm, masonry parapets shall be constructed at the edge of the verandah to prevent students from tripping. The height of such parapet shall be not less than 80 cm in ground floor and 100 cm in upper floor. (l) The floor level of the verandah shall be kept 2 cm lower than the floor level of the class rooms to prevent rain water from entering the class rooms. NUMBER OF STOREYS (a) As far as possible, the nursery and elementary schools shall be housed in single storeyed buildings. (b) The maximum number of floors in schools buildings shall be restricted to three (i.e.) ground floor, first floor and second floor.


(c) In the case of two or three storeyed buildings the class rooms for the children upto the age group of 8 years or upto Standard III shall be situated only in the ground floor. NUMBER AND MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS IN STAIRCASES (a) The staircases will also act as exits or escape routes during emergencies. Therefore they shall be so constructed that all the occupants from a particular floor must evacuate within 2-1/2 minutes. (b) For every six class rooms there shall be at least one staircase. (c) The clear width of the staircase shall not be less than 1.6 metre. (d) The minimum width of the tread of the steps shall not be less than 30 cm. The treads shall be constructed and maintained in a manner to prevent slipping / tripping. (e) The riser of the (height) steps shall be not more than 16 cm. (f) The number of steps in each flight of the staircase shall not be more than 16. (g) The mid landing shall not be less than 1.60 metre width. (h) The staircases shall be continuous from ground level to terrace level. (i) The staircase shall be either internal or external. (j) The external exit doors of staircase enclosure at ground level shall open directly to the open space or through a lobby of sufficient space. (k) The width of exit doors in the lobby shall be not less than 2 metre width and 2.10 metre height. (l) The minimum head room in a passage under landing shall be 2.20 metre. (m) The minimum clear head room in any staircase shall be 2.20 metre. (n) The stairs shall be constructed as self contained units with an external wall constituting at least one of its sides. (o) Internal staircases shall be completely enclosed and provided with proper ventilation and lighting. (p) Hand rail shall be provided at a height of 100 cm to be measured from the base of the middle of treads to the top of the hand rail. (q) The balustrades shall be very sturdy and should withstand heavy thrust. (r) The gap between two verticals (balustrades)to support the hand rails shall not be more than 16 cm. (s) The travel distance to the staircase from any part of the upper floors shall be not more than 22.60 metre. (t) The door to the terrace shall be always kept closed preferably with a grill gate to prevent students venturing into the terrace unnoticed. (u) The terrace should not be used for conducting classes. (v) The parapet walls in the open terrace shall be at least 23 cm wide and of 100 cm height to prevent children from peeping out and falling down. SIZE AND HEIGHT OF CLASS ROOMS. (a) The class room shall as far as possible be square in shape. (b) The minimum size of the class rooms shall be 6 m x 6 m or 400 square feet for student strength not exceeding 40. (c) The thickness of walls shall be not less than 23 cm.


(d) The clear head room of the classes (ie) from finished floor level to bottom of roof, shall be not less than 3.06 metre in the case of flat roofs. (e) In the case of sloped roof, the minimum height at eaves shall be not less than 2.7 metre from finished floor level. (f) Stage for the teacher shall be of size not less than 2.40 metre length and 1.83 metre width. The height of the stage shall be not more than 38 cm. (g) The size of black board shall be 2.40 m x 1.20 m. The bottom of the black board shall be 46 cm above the level of stage. (h) Each class room shall have at least two door openings and two window openings. DOOR WAY IN CLASS ROOMS (a) The doors shall be of size not less than 1.20 metre width and 2.10 metre height. While the door at the teachers end shall be fully panelled, the second door on the other end of the class room shall be panelled and grilled (bottom 1/3 panelled and top 2/3 grilled) to ensure proper ventilation inside the class room when the door is kept closed. (b) The doors shall have two leaves. (c) One door opening shall be at the teachers end. The second door on the other end of the class room shall have only a simple latch / tower bolt arrangement for locking from inside. This door shall not have any arrangement for locking from outside. (d) The doors shall be made of either non-combustible material or materials with high fire resistance rating. (e) The doors shall always open outwards (i.e) away from the room. (f) The door shutters when open shall not obstruct the travel along the exit or escape route. (g) No door when opened shall reduce the required width of stair way, landing, verandah to less than 90 cm. (h) Emergency doors which can be easily broken during an emergency should be provided. (i) School doors should not be kept locked during school working hours. WINDOW IN CLASS ROOMS (a) Two purposes are served by windows viz., admission of light and admission of air. (b) As such, windows shall be provided at regular distances so as to ensure uniformity of light inside the class rooms. (c) Sill of windows shall be kept at 80 cm from finished floor level. (d) The total opening area in the walls of a class room shall be not less than one fifth of the floor area. As far as possible the principal lighting should be from the North. (e) No guard bars shall be provided for the windows in ground floor. However, provision of guard bars at 10 cm spacing is a must for all windows in upper floors.


(f) The window shall be made of either non-combustible material or materials with high fire resistance rating. (g) The width and height of each window shall not be more than 1.60 metre. (h) The shutters of the windows shall always open outwards (ie) away from the class rooms. (i) Each shutter of the window shall be not more than 60 cm wide. SCHOOLS IN HILL STATIONS In hill stations school buildings are frequently adversely affected by landslides. Landslides A landslide is the movement of large amounts of soil, rocks, mud and other debris down a slope. Landslides can vary in scale from a single boulder falling, to tens of thousands of cubic metres of debris/rocks falling. A landslide occurs with the failure of the soil or rock material to remain bound together or be adhered on to the slope due to various forces. There may be different kinds of movement in a landslide. In the simplest cases, a landslide moves down slope parallel to the slope. Why does a landslide occur? A combination of factors makes an area prone to landslide. The inherent or geologic factors which have a significant role in a landslide include the composition and type of layering of rocks. The rock materials favour landslides including leached, decomposed, poorly cemented sediments or unconsolidated material. Certain types of layering of rock beds also favour landslides. The topography of the area is another factor which influences landslide occurrence. A steep slope is more liable for a slide than a gentler one. Any area that has been denuded of its soil-retaining vegetation is more prone to landslides. The base of any cliff or slope is important for preventing landslides and erosion or removal of the base increases the threat of a landslide. Triggering a landslide A landslide begins when the loose material on the surface of a slope becomes unstable. Water is one of the key factors in triggering landslide and most landslides occur after heavy rains. Earthquakes or volcanic activity also cause landslide. Erosion by wind, water or waves, where lower layers of a slope are cut or worn away, is another major cause for landslides. Human activities are one of the major causes of landslides. Indiscriminate felling of trees from mountain slopes leaves practically nothing to hold the surface of the slope and to trap the rain water. The roots of trees and ground


foliage hold water like a sponge, releasing it slowly into the surrounding soil in a controlled flow. When a hill side is stripped of its cover, the exposed soil erodes very quickly. Other human activities like road construction or quarrying and mining also increase the chances of landslides. While constructing a road on a mountain, material is removed from the base of the mountain and consecutively upwards from the mountain slope. This decreases the support for the upper slope material and increases the chances of its falling down. In the case of quarrying and mining, the mined material is excavated, when again the base of a slope gets weakened, making the surrounding land unstable. In many mountain areas which are also important tourist places, hotels and resorts are sometimes built by cutting vegetation on mountain slopes, which makes the area more susceptible to landslides. Thus, in a nutshell, the degree of a slope, the type of material, topography, water seepage and human activities are the most significant factors which influence the time and scale of occurrence of a landslide. Schools should not be situated near the slope of any hill/hillock since a landslide is purely a gravitational phenomenon. Water bearing porous and unconsolidated material is liable to slip. Ditches and tiled drains should be constructed along the compound wall. A soil mechanist should study the nature of the soil and the porosity of sub-surface before construction is taken up. Preventive measures to avoid damage from landslides Civil structures of a special nature should be provided in such cases. 1. Trees should be planted on slopes to help in holding the soil together. 2. The lower end or toe of a slope which is very vulnerable to a fall can be strengthened with concrete, rocks, etc. 3. On long slopes, fences can be created in between to disrupt the flow of a slide. 4. New development/constructions should be located in areas where the land is stable, or where the slopes can be supported. 5. As water is one of the main causes for landslides, measures can be taken which control and monitor the amount of water on unstable slopes. Underground drainage is also installed in some places to reduce the water content of landslide - prone hillsides. Use of trenches, pumps and wells to control water levels has also been practised. 6. Improved warning and evacuation system also help to reduce damage of life and property. 7. Training of students in afforestation should be organized to avert mishaps due to landslides.

340 All the above are related to the norms and standards to be adopted in the construction of new buildings for educational institutions. 6.1.2. EXISTING INSTITUTIONS: In respect of existing educational institutions, such general norms / standards suggested cannot be adopted since buildings are already available. In such a context, the reform measures to be carried out to prevent any kind of disaster in the existing educational institutions can be suggested only after inspecting each and every building taking into consideration the available infrastructural facilities. There should be a relook at old buildings. Buildings just two or three years old are found with cracks and are leaking. In many Government / Panchayat / Municipal Schools weathering course is absent or had not been done properly. Water stagnates as the rain water drains are not cleared of leaves and other waste; the roofs are severely damaged. As such, it is considered that the reform measures to be carried out in the existing educational institutions will vary radically from case to case depending on the existing facilities. However, the following general suggestions are made with regard to the reforms to be carried out in the existing educational institutions. (1) All the combustible materials used for the construction of educational institution buildings especially thatched roof, vizhal grass roof, etc., should be asked to be removed and replaced with non-combustible materials or materials with high fire resistant rating within a set time frame. (2) It should be ensured that sufficient escape routes, in case of fire accidents, are available. This can be done by providing additional doors in the main entrance as well as in the class rooms. (3) The size of main exit doors shall be enlarged if found inadequate in such a way that the total occupants from a particular floor could evacuate within two and a half minutes. (4) In the case of buildings with more than one floor, if the existing staircase is found to be inadequate, additional staircases shall be asked to be constructed in such a way that the occupant in the upper floor could evacuate within two and a half minutes. (5) The MS guard bars / grills provided in the windows in the ground floor shall be asked to be removed so that they can also be utilized as escape routes (6) The existing doors (if they are opening inwards) shall be modified to open outwards. The doors shall be provided in such a way that they do not obstruct easy movement in the corridor / passage. (7) Modification shall be made in the existing buildings in such a way that the maximum travel distance from any part of the building to the nearest escape route is not more than 22.6 metre as prescribed in the National Building Code. (8) Fire safety plan to be developed in cooperation with the local fire department -- It shall include information concerning the exits and evacuation routes for the facility. The egress plan / diagram shall be





posted when required drills shall be executed at different hours of the day or even during the changing of classes; when the school is at assembly; during the recess or physical training periods etc., so as to avoid distinction between drills and actual fires. If a drill is called, when pupils are going up and down the stairways, as during the time the classes are changing, the pupils shall be instructed to form in file and immediately proceed to the nearest available exit in an orderly manner. Great stress shall be laid upon the execution of each drill in a brisk, quiet and orderly manner. Running shall be prohibited. In case there are pupils incapable of holding their places in a line moving at a reasonable speed, provisions shall be made to have them taken care of by the more sturdy pupils, who will keep them moving independently from the regular line of march. Fire alarm shall be provided in each floor of the building. Public address system in each class room should be made available. Fluorescent reflectors in staircases and near exits have to be provided. Conventional fire fighting arrangements, like buckets with water and sand shall be asked to be provided at the rates prescribed by the Fire and Rescue Services Department. There must be direct pipeline from the overhead water tank to each floor for easy access to water. Periodical checking of extinguishers and alarm should be done to see if they are in working order. Confidence should be instilled in the minds of both the teachers and students by giving adequate training / conducting mock drills at frequent intervals on how to behave in the case of emergency as it is observed that panicking is the root cause for stampede and consequent causalities. Fire exit drills, designed in co-operation with the fire service authorities shall be regularly conducted with sufficient frequency -- say once a fortnight to start with. Training to control fire at the initial stage itself is to be given. It should become an integral part of Physical Education. The responsibility is to be assigned to competent qualified persons. Emphasis is to be placed on orderly evacuation with proper discipline rather than on speed. The moment the fire alarm rings, the children must be taught to leave without bothering about taking their belongings. It should be ensured that all students and teachers participated in the exercise each time. Drills must be conducted at unexpected times and under varying conditions to simulate the unusual conditions that occur in the case of fire. Overcrowding in class rooms is to be avoided. Shift system can be introduced. Extra students should necessarily form a separate section with due permission from the authorities concerned. Again, clubbing of two sections / classes to suit the convenience of the teachers should be avoided. School buildings have to be insured against fire and natural calamities. Group insurance of school pupils should also be done. Lightning conductors to be provided in each school.


6.1.3. Compound Walls: Schools situated on main roads where buses and other public transport / heavy vehicles ply should necessarily have a compound wall with a gate and the roads should have speed breakers at strategic points, in these days of mad and reckless driving. Road rules should be part of the curriculum. Equally where the schools abut waterways ponds lakes etc., compound walls are a must. They are also needed to arrest trespass. must be compound walls on all four sides. Minimum distance between the compound wall and the school building should be 100 feet. 6.1.4. Wells and Ponds close to the schools should be fenced. 6.1.5. Furniture Suitable furniture should be provided to students. Protruding nails or other sharp metal should be removed. Sharp, hazardous edges should be suitably modified. Providing furniture for boy students and making the girl students squat on the floor in the same class is discriminatory, especially when gender equality is the main thrust in the curriculum! This practice should be discouraged by providing furniture to all or none within the same class. Furniture should be coated with fire retardant paints as approved by the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI) Roorkee. Alternatively the furniture should be fabricated out of fire resistant material. Condemned furniture should be disposed off and not dumped within the school premises, in the class rooms or lofts provided therein. 6.1.6 Laboratory Laboratory furniture - especially the tables should be protected from corrosion by chemicals etc. Kadappa stone topped tables would be ideal. Wooden work tables should be coated with fire retardant paint. 6.1.7. Play Space 1. The adage "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is not to be just mentioned and brushed aside; but to be taken with all seriousness in as much as we are concerned with the well being of our children - especially the young ones in school. 2. There is little doubt that education contributes not only to physical fitness but also to physical efficiency, mental alertness, team spirit and obedience to rules. This is the impact of physical education. 3. It is with this perspective that physical education was given its due and a certain number of periods set aside for this purpose in the class time table. However, the school scenario fails to present an optimistic picture as far as this aspect is concerned.


4. A satisfactory programme of physical education can be developed / implemented only on the basis of adequate play area being provided as part of the school campus or very close to the school. 5.In corporation or municipal areas, where owning a play ground may be difficult, permission should be obtained by the management to utilize the corporation or other playgrounds in the vicinity from the competent authorities. 6. Every school should have the prescribed expanse of open space for play / games / physical education. This play space / games field should be within the school campus or very near the school, if it is outside the campus. 7. Bushes or any vegetation, for that matter, in play spaces should be cleared periodically so that poisonous snakes and insects do not make those places their home and the play space is maintained as a safe place for children to play. Water-holding bodies like ponds should be fenced and barricades placed at safe distances. Open gutters, garbage pits etc. should be closed. In one instance, we witnessed a garbage pit being constructed by the local body for disposal of bio-waste from the nearby PHC. This is a serious situation for it will be disastrous to the young children from the health point of view. Play space should not be hired to outsiders for marriages, social functions, carnivals etc. for mobilizing resources. Play space should not be leased out for putting up shops. This not only contributes to the vulnerability of the school to accidents, but also provides a lot of distraction to the young minds besides exposing them to health hazards, susceptible to infections and contagious diseases. Besides littering the campus with empty sachets of substances like pan-parag etc., it also induces students to consume such substances ultimately leading to addiction. A recent report in the newspapers about young students getting addicted to sniffing volatile substances is a matter of serious concern. Shops in the vicinity of the school itself should be totally banned - not to say of play spaces. It would be ideal if the play space could be fenced. This would also desist intruders from entering the school premises. Providing the physical aspect viz., play space sans physical education is of no use. It should be ensured that physical education classes are conducted and games organized to put a 'healthy mind in a healthy body by the RIPEs and the DSOs. 6.1.8. Safety Measures FIRE SAFETY MEASURES IN SCHOOLS Fire Protection Equipment: i) Provision of adequate capacity and numbers of various fire extinguishers according to the nature of combustibles, in eye catching spots in each block. ii) Provision of water tank and separate piping from the tank with hose reel to the ground floor and first floor.


iii) Provision of hose reel and fire hose boxes with branch pipe& hydrant key near the hydrant. Training 1. Fire Fighting Three levels: - First level to train all staff members / teachers. - Second to train the selected students from 10th to 12th standard - Third to train all students from standard 10 upwards. 2. First Aid Training First Aid Training to all the staff members. Safety Equipment i) ii) iii) Provision of first aid boxes with a resuscitator. Provision of eye wash shower - hand held unit in the chemistry lab with permanent connection to the water line. Availability of PVC gloves, Apron and face / eye protection. Task Force i) Task force comprising of Principal / Head of the institution & two teachers / staff members shall be formed to look after the above functions. Fire Service Troops like NSS, JRC, NCC can be set up. Task force members shall be assigned with the above functions Task force shall make fire safety inspections once in every 3 months to identify accumulation of combustible material hazards in school laboratories.

ii) iii) Displays 1. Emergency telephone numbers and the school map -- Telephone numbers of Fire Station, Police Station, Hospitals, Ambulance, Voluntary Agencies to be put up in the notice board and other prominent places. 2. List of persons to be contacted during emergencies during school hours and out of school hours. 3. Name of the responsible person for the upkeep of the fire and first aid equipment - on the first aid box and notice boards. 4. Procedure to be followed in case assembly of all in one place is ordered. -Mock drill is required. i) Separate long bell arrangement. ii) Earmarking of Assembly point - Ear marking of areas for different standards - 1st to 12th with clear marking on the floor. iii) Nomination of two second level trained students to every primary class to assist the teacher wherever possible. 5. Display of the location of fire protection equipment and safety equipment. 6. Display names of task force members

345 Compact discs can be made available as a means of education. A guidance manual on safety measures may be got prepared and distributed to schools, as also leaflets. MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS Principal / Head of the Institution shall maintain the records which include the list of staff members / students trained from time to time. Fire Drill Demonstrations: As a step towards motivation in this direction the Commission initiated fire drill demonstrations in some schools in the districts for others to emulate. Note: It is learnt that elaborate and exhaustive recommendations have been made by Justice K.S.Bakthavatsalam Commission for Fire Safety and it is hoped that the present recommendations by this Commission of Enquiry on fire safety in schools be treated as supplementing those recommendations and be implemented. Laboratory LPG cylinder, when used for burners in the laboratory should necessarily be placed outside the laboratory. A chamber with suitable ventilation should be constructed outside the laboratory to house the cylinder. Experiments involving gas, electricity are to be done with special care in the presence of teachers whether in the laboratory or in an exhibition. Flame proof lights and fittings have to be provided. Exhaust fans should be provided in the laboratory. All concentrated acid / strong chemical bottles should be placed separately in a tray filled with sand for safety purpose. Gas plants should be away from the laboratory and the main building. Electrical Electrical wiring should be of approved standards and materials should be from reputed manufacturers with ISI mark.. The quality of electrical equipment used should be brought under the scanner. Electrical wires should be within conduit pipes and never be left in an open condition. Loose wires should not be found hanging precariously. Proper insulation and earthing should be provided in conformity with ISI standards. Tripper system should be introduced- miniature circuit breakers (MCB) should be provided. Main boxes, switchboards and meters must be away from the reach of the children and should be safely covered with wooden boxes. No motor or pump set shall be allowed inside the class rooms. There must be periodical inspection by Electricity Board authorities. Every school should have a qualified electrician on its pay rolls, to check the lines frequently.

346 No HT lines should run inside or in close proximity to the school. Steps must be taken to shift them if they are already there. There should be no transformers inside or close to the school. Others School buildings / premises should never be converted into marriage halls / festival celebrations to mobilize revenue. Utilization of school premises for running tutorials / coaching centres after school hours or during vacation should be discouraged. Erection of telecommunication tower, cable tower or any other equipment or facility on top of the school or inside the school premises should never be permitted. Frontage of school buildings is often being rented out to shops garments, shoes, sundry items - sometimes a mutton stall, fast food joint - it is anyones guess - adding to the hazards already prevalent. Licences to such institutions should be cancelled and the occupants have to be evicted. 6.2 Toilets 6.2.1 Municipal Regulation stipulates 1 urinal for every 20 students and 1 toilet for every 40 students. 6.2.2 It is disheartening to note that most of the schools in the rural areas do not have toilets at all! The only toilet that may be found would be under lock and key for the use of the teachers. As such, students are compelled to go to the toilet in the open. 6.2.3 The school curriculum has ample scope to teach personal hygiene and sanitation to the students. But, most unfortunately, they do not practise the same. 6.2.4 In the urban schools, the scenario is slightly different. The schools may have toilets but not enough in number and mostly without adequate water supply which is most essential for hygienic reasons. Many cases have been reported where girl students do not drink water at all, lest they should be compelled to use the school toilet mostly without water supply. This is a health hazard - and some cases of kidney affliction have been reported. Many suffer from infection of the urinary tract. Having very few toilets and rushing the students within a short recess also is to be avoided. 6.2.5 After all, the school - the second home should provide all basic amenities to the pupils to make learning less hazardous - nay - hazard - free - for, it is here that the students spend most part of the day. So, adequate number of clean toilets with copious water supply should be ensured to all the pupils. This shortcoming is not common among rural, government schools alone. It is found in the so-called self- financing or fee collecting (un-aided) schools also where children of the upper strata of the society study paying high rates of fees. 6.2.6 Ayahs / Attenders should be appointed to attend to the nursery class children in the toilets. 6.2.7 It is also essential to keep the toilets clean. In the absence of full time employees, part - time employees may be engaged to clean the toilets. Or, still better, this job may be given on contract to private service-providers (SHGs). Four


or five schools of the area may get together and identify a service provider to do the housekeeping on contract basis. This should be given top priority to ensure healthy, hygienic comfortable, hazard - free schooling to the children. 6.2.8 Some special attention should be given to girl students especially the adolescents. If it is a mixed school, then, necessarily the boys' and girls' toilets should be located on different floors and not facing each other to save them from any embarrassment. The girls need a little more privacy and other additional arrangements like a large trash bin with a mechanical pedal - like opener. The bin should necessarily be cleared periodically - again on contract. Health education classes for girls nearing puberty are a must. A number of social entrepreneurs (NGOs) extend such services. Posters may also be pasted on the bathroom walls. Again, copious water supply is a must for maintaining the bathrooms clean. Toilets should not be near the noon meal kitchen. 6.2.9 Waste water from kitchens may be recycled (filtered through a filter-bed) and used for washing toilets. 6.2.10 Water storing tanks and septic tanks must be closed properly and securely. Open gutters in the vicinity of the school should be covered with slabs. 6.2.11 The Health Inspectors should necessarily conduct surprise checks on schools to ensure that all the above are conformed with by the schools. Any lapses should be taken seriously and rectified immediately. 6.3.NOON MEAL KITCHEN 6.3.1 Proper design of the noon meal kitchen should be thought of. Noon meal kitchen must be away from class rooms as well as toilets - must be well ventilated and lit - Exhaust fans - Proper chimney which can send out the smoke should be mandatory. The kitchen oven / burner / stove must be top clean and uncluttered. Kitchen must be kept spic and span. Matches and lighters must be always locked up high and away from children. Hygiene should get top priority in the preparation and distribution of food to children. Personal cleanliness of the organizer, the cook and the helpers has to be ensured. - Proper safety measures are to be taken against food poisoning hazards - No thatch or frond is to be used - Gas may be thought of - Fire extinguisher should be kept there in the kitchen. Fire is to be put out after the cooking gets over and the kitchen staff wind up for the day. During the preparation of noon meal, the organizer and the cook have to stay in the kitchen. Sufficient water must be stored. Children should not be allowed inside the kitchen. Cooking vessels and food plates should be of good quality preferably stainless steel. - Two teachers are to be on duty during meal preparation and serving. They should taste the food before serving the children. - BDO or Municipal Commissioner, as the case may be, must make surprise visit to the school noon meal kitchen every fortnight. Preferably mixed sambar rice with vegetables may be served to eliminate possible hazards from the spilling of hot sambar cooked in huge vessels and lifted to the serving point. The school management should have supervisory control over the noon meal operation. Clean well ventilated space should be provided for taking food. 6.3.2. Fire wood/frond/fuel should not be stacked inside the kitchen.


6.3.3. Cattle rearing is an occupation in the rural areas. Biogas can be thought of as a substitute to firewood as fuel in such areas. In a municipal school, LPG was used as fuel and it worked out cheaper than firewood! 6.3.4. It is time the midday meal scheme is redefined and the mechanism of cooking and distribution of food better organized and modernized. In Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts, steam boilers are popular. They are hygienic and they eliminate smoke. Alternatively the smokeless biomass Chula developed at Centre for Energy and Environmental Science and Technology (CEESAT) and recommended by NITT may be considered. This Chula is stated to burn firewood with an efficiency as high as 30% thus saving 2/3 of fuel besides offering smokeless conditions. The cost of the Chula for cooking food for 200 children is Rs. 6000/-. 6.3.5. Solar boiler developed by NITT can be used for cooking Sundal/Channa and for boiling eggs. This boiler which can boil 200 eggs at a time in two hours costs Rs.4000/-. It is said to retain the taste and nutrients besides the yellow colour of the egg yolk. 6.4. Drinking Water: 6.4.1. Clean, potable drinking water should be made available to all students. Drinking water supply should not be near the toilets. The water tank used for storing drinking water should be cleaned periodically. 6.4.2. The pipe lines should be maintained well so as to prevent wastage through leaking pipes. 6.5. DRAINAGE SYSTEM 6.5.1. Rain water drains / gutters in the vicinity of schools should not be left open - Open gutters are a health hazard and therefore, should be necessarily covered. 6.5.2 Waste water from the noon meal kitchen should be channelised properly and recycled for cleaning toilets and not allowed to flow into the school premises. 6.6. TRANSPORTATION 6.6.1. The child-centred approach commended in the New Policy in Education (NPE) attempts to build the academic programme and school activities around the child. 6.6.2. Accordingly, the NPE envisaged provision of a primary school to all habitations with a population of 300 (200 in the case of tribal, hilly and desert areas) to provide the right to education every child. School mapping exercises were undertaken by NIEPA in this direction. Therefore, it is clear that schools are to be started depending upon the need of the locality. In other words, schools are geographically specific institutions and essentially meant for the locals. However, due to mushrooming of the so-called `English Medium Nursery Schools in response to the parents desire to educate their children in such schools, children are compelled to travel long distances to reach the school and back home.


6.6.3. This has triggered yet another factor in the exploitation / commercialization of the education sector viz. the operation of private vans / autorickshaws for these children. School buses operated by the school authorities are no exception. More often these buses / vans / auto-rickshaws are not in good condition. They are overcrowded with children packed like sardines. A few cases were witnessed where young girls were made to stand and the boys who were seated (perched) often 4 of them cramped in a 2-seater were bullying the girls! 6.6.4. Girls and boys perched precariously upon extra seats / rods fixed to auto-rickshaws numbering about 16-20 much beyond the capacity prescribed with school boys and lunch bags hanging outside is a common sight these days not only in urban cities but rural areas as well! 6.6.5. Therefore, to make the journey to school a joyful one free from hazards, the following are recommended. The timings of public buses in the routes of schools should suit school timings. Issuing free bus passes with no buses to travel on time is no way to realize the goal of education for all. 6.6.6. School buses / private vans should be maintained in roadworthy condition. Periodical check-ups must be made mandatory. The school van should have the name of the school painted on it boldly. Emergency telephone numbers should also be displayed. No usage of cell phones while driving. 6.6.7. Displaying a photograph of the family / child of the driver in front of his seat will prevent him from rash driving. 6.6.8. The van should have a conductor / attendant to conduct the children to board and alight the van. 6.6.9. The driver and conductor should necessarily wear ID cards. 6.6.10. The trips should be scheduled such that the children are not made to travel for more than 20-30 minutes on each trip. 6.6.11. School vans, buses and auto-rickshaws should never be overloaded. Traffic police should be instructed against school authorities for over crowding 6.6.12. Parents should get their children ready on time to board the van / bus/ auto-rickshaw. Many a time, these vehicles keep honking menacingly much to the discomfort of the aged, sick and infants in the locality, not to talk of their sizable contribution to noise pollution. Vans and buses ferrying children to and from schools should not be allowed to play film songs. 6.6.13. Admitting children into schools in their own locality should be systematized. This will save time, money, energy and fuel so dear to the nation! 6.6.14. It is imperative to educate the parents on this aspect also. 6.7. Movement of pupils and teachers Safety and Discipline 6.7.1. Once the pupils have reached the school campus, there should be orderliness/discipline in their movement. 6.7.2. The Vedic prayer, Let all be happy, is perhaps the noblest of all human wishes. Teachers, with their moral fibre, intellectual acumen, academic excellence and spiritual enlightenment will be able to fulfill this wish. They have to `think globally and act locally. H.G. Wells has rightly said that The teacher is the real maker of History. Teachers have a great responsibility in moulding the personality of the students. It is the teachers who influence their attitudes, values,


interests, morals, ideals, conduct and behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative that teachers should practise before they preached. 6.7.3. Punctuality Teachers should be well on time before the school bell rings to conduct the children to the assembly/prayer. 6.7.4. Children should be trained to form into single file and assemble for the morning prayers. Each class should be allotted a space as indicated by floor marking. 6.7.5. At the end of the prayer, again, students should be conducted to their class rooms in an orderly manner in a single file. 6.7.6. Children should be trained to exit from the class room during recess time and lunch break in an orderly manner. 6.7.7. Climbing down the steps holding on to the shoulder of the student in front should not be practised. For, the whole weight of the class students would be pressurizing the first student which is hazardous especially while getting down the steps. 6.7.8. Children should be trained to sit in an orderly manner to have their lunch and trained not to spill food or water. 6.7.9. Snack-time and lunch-time should be supervised by 2 teachers by turn. 6.7.10. Children should not be allowed to move outside the school premises on their own during school hours. 6.7.11. No class room should be left without a teacher during class hour. Students should be instructed to inform the school office of the teachers absence. 6.7.12. Teachers should be the last to leave the class after the children leave in an orderly fashion. 6.7.13. Each teacher can be provided with a whistle. In times of emergency, the teacher can blow the whistle to communicate the need for help. Students should be trained to leave the class on hearing the whistle. This should be practised in class under mock situations. 6.7.14. There can be staggering of dispersal of classes. Lower class students to be dispersed first, followed by higher class students. 6.7.15. The school bell should strike the lunch hour and final periods in a slow, deliberate and phased manner with short pauses in between. Quick successive rings should be avoided as they encourage the children to rush out in a hurry and there is an impulsive exodus. 6.7.16. There must be queue system for ingress and egress of students. 6.8. The load of the school bag 6.8.1. The MHRD, GOI, had set up a National Advisory Committee headed by Prof. Yash Pal, former Chairman, UGC, in March, 1992 to advise on the ways and means to reduce the load on school students at all levels particularly the young students, while improving quality of learning including capability for life-long selflearning and skill formulation. 6.8.2. The Committee analyzed not only the CBSE or NCERT syllabi and textbooks but also the text books used in different States and Union Territories. A data base was created/formulated through perception surveys, consultations with teachers and analysis of text books and instructional materials. This involved the


whole country in the exercise of looking at the problems of school education from the perspective of mechanical load of studies on children. The Committee submitted its report on the 16th of July, 1993. 6.8.3. The most common and striking feature or may we say a flaw in our education system is the size of the school bag that children can be seen carrying from home to school and back home everyday. A survey conducted by the Committee in Delhi has revealed that the weight of the school bag, on an average, in primary classes in public schools is more than 4 kg. 6.8.4. In Hong Kong, the weight of the book load is 16% of the total body weight of a child. Accordingly, the weight of the school bag of a 4 year old child of 16 kg. body weight would be 2 kg. On the other hand, in India, the weight of the school bag of a 6 year old child of 10-16 kg. body weight is 4 to 6 kg. It is disheartening to see a pre-school child (below 6 years of age) carrying a heavy bag of books and note books. Even after eminent writer R.K. Narayan had drawn the countrys attention to this plight of children through his moving speech in the Rajya Sabha which prompted the Government to appoint the Yash Pal Committee, the problem remains unsolved. 6.8.5. According to the Committee, there is no justification in torturing the young children by compelling them to carry heavy load of books to school everyday. Text books should be treated as school property and thus, there should be no need for children to purchase the books individually and carry them home daily. 6.8.6. A separate time-table for the assignment of home work and for the use of text books and note books be prepared by the school and be made known to the children in advance. 6.8.7. For the primary classes at least up to Standard III work books may be thought of in the place of text books. These may be of light weight and divided into 3 parts to synchronize with the term days or working days in each term. On completing each volume, it should be in the school or home as required and not carried to school everyday. 6.8.8. For the higher classes again, the home work sheets/work books need not be carried everyday. It is found that for each subject say Science a Text Book, a Home Work Book, a class notes book and a test note book are prescribed. So, every subject has 4 books prescribed. So multiplying all subjects by 4 will give us an idea of the number of books and their weight and the consequent increase in the load to be carried by every child. This should definitely be suitably modified. Not all subjects are taught in class everyday. So, only those minimal books say the note books as per the time table should be carried to and from the school. The mere number of books warrants some time to be spent sorting them out and putting them into their bag. So, the child thinks, let me carry all the books lest I miss one and face punishment by the teacher. 6.8.9. This situation needs serious thinking and an overall change.


6.8.10. Alternatively, the entire content of the Text Book of a particular subject may be divided into three portions to coincide with the terms of the school working days. So the child needs to carry only Part I of that subject for the first term; Part II for the second and Part III for the third term. 6.8.11. Similarly, the notebooks for the subjects may also be less bulky and divided into three numbers/parts corresponding to the part of the text book. It is a common sight to find note books with unused papers at the end of the year! It is wastage of stationery and our natural wealth of trees ultimately! This should be given thought to. 6.8.12. The nature of the home work also needs a radical change. In the primary classes, children should not be given any home work save for extension of explanations in the home environment. 6.8.13. In the upper primary and secondary classes, home work where necessary, should be non-textual and text books, when needed for work at home should be made available on a rotation basis. 6.8.14. Greater use of the electronic media be encouraged for the creation of a child-centred social ethos in the country. Regular telecasts of programmes addressed to students, teachers and parents should be launched. 6.8.15. The B.Ed. programme should offer the possibility of specialization in nursery or elementary or secondary education. The content of the programme should be restructured to ensure its relevance to the changing needs of school education and to make it more practicum-centred. The emphasis in these programmes should be on enabling the trainees to acquire the ability for self-learning and independent thinking leading to innovative teaching. 6.8.16. The continuing education of teachers in service training programmes must be institutionalized. The organization of such programmes and other activities aimed at capacity building of teachers should be systematically designed and conducted imaginatively. 6.8.17. The public examinations taken up at the end of Classes X and XII should be reviewed to ensure replacement of the prescribed text-based and quiztype questioning. This single reform is sufficient to improve the quality of learning and save the children from the tyranny of rote memorization. 6.8.18. For the one major flaw that our system of education suffers is `a lot is taught but little is learnt or understood this is the crux of the problem. It is high time we did something about it and transformed the hitherto `joyless learning of our children into `joyful learning. Thanks to Mr. R.K. Narayan and the Government of India.


CHAPTER - VII INSPECTION MECHANISM 7.1. Updating / Revising the Inspection Manual to suit the present day needs of the school system should be expeditiously implemented. 7.2. Public places commonly rented out or in commercial use are usually under a stricter requirement of inspection by state authorities for fire safety, sanitation and hygiene, proper maintenance etc. than schools. 7.3 Further, inspection of safeguards against fire and other mishaps precedes the issue of licence / permission to use cinema halls, auditoriums etc. Provisions of such safeguards should be an essential or mandatory pre-requisite for recognition of schools. 7.4. In other public places or auditoriums, there is a first line of defence, consisting of mechanics, A.C. operators and technicians when fire accidents occur. In educational institutions, the brunt directly falls on teachers and administrative staff, who are mostly unversed and unskilled in tackling such situations. 7.5. Unlike other public places, schools have a surfeit of combustible material in the form of books, note books, bags, laboratory chemicals, items of furniture, electrical fittings etc. This increases the scope for exercise of constant alertness and vigilance to guard against things going wrong for want of care or due to negligence. 7.6. Intense competition and commercialization of education have led to managements running schools in all sorts of areas in ill-suited, ill-maintained and congested conditions without regard to safety norms. Educational authorities, despite the challenges posed by the exponentially increasing number of such institutions should never turn a blind eye to violation of safety standards. 7.7. The Inspecting Officers who periodically visit the schools to inspect the standards of teaching and educational performance should be instructed to inspect adherence to safety norms also. They should also make surprise inspections as often as possible. 7.8. In order that the observance of these safeguards does not become a chancy affair, depending on the extent of social responsibility and efficiency of managing bodies of educational institutions, it is necessary to enact a law containing these and any other provisions that may be deemed useful and imperative, with stringent penalties for non-compliance. 7.9. Our young boys and girls in school cannot make decisions for themselves in emergencies and entirely look up to the teachers and other elders for help and guidance. This places a far greater responsibility on those running schools than in respect of other public places. Again, public meetings, cinema shows etc. are held in a single place / hall amenable to quick reach and direction, whereas the classes in educational institutions are held in a number of separate rooms, sprawled over a


wide area. Hence, management for co-ordination and communication assume cardinal importance. 7.10. Recognition for all the existing schools shall be reviewed and schools with shortcomings shall be given a reasonable time limit to restructure and refurbish their infrastructure. A new set of norms with particular reference to safety standards shall be introduced relevant to the current time and trend. Schools with very poor infrastructure should close higher classes -- recognition to be withdrawn for those classes -- those class rooms can be used for other classes. Existing schools may be relocated by merging together unviable schools under both Government and Private sector. Antecedents of promoters of schools have to be checked before entertaining applications for recognition. Qualifications must be prescribed for correspondents and secretaries. 7.11. An annual calendar shall be stipulated for processing applications seeking permission for new schools or continuance of recognition. The application in a prescribed form with acknowledgement due should be filed during a specific month within the stipulated date. 7.12. On completion of scrutiny of such application, inspection and assessment of infrastructural facilities will be carried out during a particular month as indicated in the academic / inspection calendar by an Inspection Team. Inspections should be done before the commencement of the academic year. On completion of the inspection, the Team will submit its Inspection Report as per schedule (during a particular month). The date / month for orders to be passed by the competent authority with justification may also be indicated. 7.13. The Inspection Team has to be a panel of experts a Civil Engineer, a Health Officer, a Revenue Officer, a Psychologist, a Fire Officer, a local body officer and a development officer besides the educational authorities. Precedents are available with CBSE, UGC, NCTE, AICTE and MCI. The panel members may be from different parts of the State. An initial orientation of the panel should be a prerequisite for such an exercise (Eg. UGC, CBSE, NAAC, NCTE etc.) Should permission be denied to a school, then the agency should take necessary steps to upgrade the facilities as per recommendations and apply afresh for permission in the subsequent year as per the calendar. 7.14. Schools not having permission / recognition / approval are to be directed to get it. Parents have to be put on notice of this. The Department should give adequate publicity of the required specifications and ensure that all the norms are fully, totally and completely satisfied before granting approval / permission / recognition. Some time limit has to be fixed for such compliance. Applications have to be processed swiftly by the department. 7.15. Schools getting permission / recognition / approval at a particular address should not be allowed to have annex or branch schools elsewhere. In such cases they have to be treated as separate schools and all formalities for permission / recognition / approval, have to be scrupulously gone through. Stability Certificate


obtained building alone should house the institution. Managements should not be allowed to house the school elsewhere. 7.16. Even for running a tutorial institute licence under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings Licensing Act, 1966 should be insisted upon. No schools -- even tutorial institutes shall be permitted in residential flats. 7.17. Running of more than one school inside one compound should be prohibited, as it will lead to overcrowding. 718. Sharing of one playground by several schools of the same management should be discouraged. 7.19. If safety regulations are not observed and equipment is not available on tap, licence to such schools should be cancelled. Any member of the public must be allowed to bring violations to the notice of the authorities. Parents must also be warned that they run the risk of finding their children out of school if they admit their children in schools that do not conform to the guidelines. 7.20. All schools - both Government and Private should display a board containing the registration details of the school, its expiry, the staff strength, the number of children in each section and the last date of inspection by PWD officials. 7.21. Inspecting Officers who deal with the recognition processes are not exposed to any formal / institutional training. A direct recruitment D.E.O / C.E.O undergoes only a six months attachment training. Regular promotees lack even this. In the case of I.A.S., I.P.S., I.F.S., I.R.S., Tamil Nadu Police Service, Fire and Rescue Service and Civil Services etc., all officers undergo formal training imparted by experts in the field. This makes them professionally strong and equipped in their respective fields. Provision for such training should necessarily be worked out to get the best out of our educational officers. 7.22. Instead of so many education department offices for each district, there could be education department offices for a stated number of schools. There must be increase in inspecting staff. 7.23. Inspection of Noon Meal Centres. 7.23.1 Similarly, in all the schools, the noon meal centre should display a board with details of the date on which food grains were received, the last date of inspection by officials of the Social Welfare Department, the consumption of food grains per day, the list of number of children consuming noon-meal so as to enlighten the parents / public. 7.23.2. The noon meal centres should be strictly monitored by the district administration concerned periodically through surprise visits. Also, the noon meal organizers should be educated to protect the received stocks and ensure safety measures of cooking. They should also check the stock quality received from the Civil Supplies Corporation and reject the same if found contaminated or adulterated.


7.23.3. The mid-day meal infrastructure calls for urgent improvement. Many schools require better utensils, storage facilities, water supply and related facilities. Adequate infrastructure is particularly crucial to avoid the disruption of classroom processes and also to ensure good hygiene. The monitory system needs to be overhauled. Close supervision and regular inspections are essential to achieve higher quality standards. Better monitoring would also help to eradicate petty corruption such as the pilferage of food by various intermediaries. 7.23.4. Good lighting and ventilation are essential. The several cases of food poisoning that have been reported could have been prevented had the NMOs and the entire machinery been vigilant and complied with the rules and regulations stipulated under the NM scheme. Ample funds are available for renovation / repair / maintenance of Noon Meal Kitchens. These funds should be channelised and utilized for the purpose. After all, every child has a right to quality education, health care and food for its total development.


CHAPTER- VIII Streamlining Inspection Machinery 8.1. In as much as Chief Educational Officers are made accountable for all happenings related to education within the district, it is imperative to bring the system of educational administration at the district level pertaining to elementary and matriculation schools (on par with State Board Schools) also within the purview of the Chief Educational Officer. 8.2. The following models may be contemplated upon towards this line of reorganization in the Department. i) At the District level the District Elementary Educational Officers and Inspector of Matriculation Schools are to be redesignated as District Educational Officers only. Their area and jurisdiction may be reduced but they would operate on all types of educational institutions within the area. This will help an officer to visit all types and levels of schools in the route and will greatly help to make frequent visits within the fuel allocation. ii) Consequently, the Chief Educational Officers would inspect only the subordinate offices within the district viz. District Education Offices and Assistant Elementary Educational Offices. However, the Chief Educational Officers should conduct surprise inspections of schools. iii) The present fuel allotment for the Chief Educational Officers may be proportionately increased to facilitate their movement within the district in the event of the above reorganization being effected. iv) At the Block level the immediate inspecting officer shall be the Assistant Educational Officer assisted by the Additional AEO. To make inspection at the Block level effective and swift the AEO may be provided with proper means of transport preferably a two wheeler. Again the AEO is a promotee to the cadre from among the elementary school headmasters as per seniority. A teacher till yesterday is transformed into an inspecting officer overnight -- without any preparation / orientation towards the required professional skill development. This is indeed a matter for serious concern calling for immediate attention and reformation. a. There could be 75% direct recruitment and 25% promotion from middle school Headmasters. Both categories, however, should have intensive training at least for six months both in school inspection methodology and financial operations. b. Alternatively, 50% promotees from middle school headmasters and 50% from high school headmasters should be posted as Assistant Education Officers. In general there could be educational departments based on the number of schools (to be fixed) instead of one for each district. 8.3. One week during the month of May, may be utilized by the District Educational Administration to set right the pendency in the style of Jamabandhi in the Revenue Department. An exercise of this style will help the administration to redress the grievances of teachers and other officials of the department across the table and will go a long way in facilitating concentration in their work.


CHAPTER- IX Certification of Buildings: 9.1. The whole process of certification of buildings and the issue of No Objection Certificate have to be streamlined and made more transparent. There cannot be a public building with just one staircase and that too a narrow one. 9.2. The unaided schools have by and large been functioning with no norms and no monitoring by regulatory authorities. This has encouraged most of these schools turning into commercial ventures, with callous indifference to student welfare and cutting corners on safety measures. Therefore, the stipulations prescribed in the Grant-in-Aid Code should be updated and streamlined and made equally applicable to unaided schools. 9.3. The building plans for schools should be prepared only by a Government certified engineer and the PWD Executive Engineer concerned should inspect the building and award a structural stability certificate. It should be ensured that the school buildings have approved plans granted by the Panchayat / Municipality / Corporation as the case may be. 9.4. Stability Certificates may be issued by the State or Central Government Engineers only. They may be Union Engineers or Assistant Engineers in the PWD or Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board or Assistant Engineers of Central PWD. The Engineers must abide by the rules laid down by the Government from time to time. They must be given the awareness that any issue of false certificate will result in severe punishment. There should be a re-look at the present system permitting the so called chartered engineers to issue stability certificates for buildings. 9.5. Every school building should possess the licence issued under the Tamil Nadu Public Buildings Licensing Act, 1966. 9.6. In future, the PWD engineers alone should be given the responsibility of issuance of Stability Certificate. Building stability certificate should be insisted upon every three years. The status of the building should be checked thoroughly before granting permission / renewal of recognition. The inspecting officers should insist upon fulfilling the norms very strictly. Not only the structural stability but also the special needs of an education institution such as availability of sanitary facilities, playground, proper ventilation, width of staircases and so on should be considered while giving the certificate. It should also be ensured that schools are not located in narrow streets and in residential areas. 9.7. Kindergarten and Primary classes should be located only on the ground floor of a building. In case of multi-storied buildings, they should be so designed as to provide for multiple entry and exit staircases of sufficient width to enable easy movement of children. 9.8. The panel constituted for the purpose should be asked to document the deviations of such institutions so that appropriate action for continuance/noncontinuance of recognition may be decided. A time frame may be fixed for rectification in deserving cases.


CHAPTER- X ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT BODIES AND THE PUBLIC. 10.1. Mere regulation without enforcement is an invitation to violation and corruption. While this is true of all areas of governance, this is especially critical when it comes to safety of public structures. Therefore, we not only need governmental inspection mechanisms but also public watchdog bodies to ensure that the end result of safety regulations is achieved. 10.2. Towards that objective, in each district, a panel including representatives from PTAs, reputed NGOs, fire service personnel etc., must be constituted by the District Collector to inspect all existing schools using a comprehensive checklist. Schools found unsafe should be asked to CLOSE DOWN FORTHWITH. Children studying therein are to be transferred to other recognized schools at no cost to the students. 10.3. In every district, one Recognition Committee headed by a retired judge may be constituted. Officials from Revenue Department, Public Works Department, Fire Service, Electricity Board, Health and Education Departments may be included. They may visit the schools periodically or at least the erring institutions as listed by district level educational authority. This can be a one time review. 10.4. The present system of minorities opening new schools or opening higher classes by themselves must be done away with. Minority schools should also obtain prior permission to open schools as in the case of minority medical and engineering colleges Self-styled opening of schools by any one must become punishable under Criminal Law.


CHAPTER- XI Student Health Care 11.1. Article 24 of UNCRC convention states that the State should ensure and recognize the rights of the child to enjoy the highest standard of health care. Hence it is recommended that the infrastructure of the PHCs should be developed and made functional so as to conduct regular health check-ups for all school children including the quality of the nutritious food served. 11.2. School children with eye defects requiring corrective measures have to be attended to. Several such deficiency diseases and syndromes call for immediate attention. The right to life includes the right to health care by the State under the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution -- Article 47 states that it is the primary duty of the state to ensure public health to its citizens. In line with this constitutional obligation, it is recommended that the infrastructures of the PHCs should be developed and made functional so as to conduct regular health check ups for all school children including the quality of the nutritious food served.


CHAPTER- XII General Observations. 12.1 Schools are not centres of specialization. Hence there is nothing wrong in defining jurisdiction for schools. Basically, schools are to be started depending on the needs of the locality / habitation. They are geography-specific institutions and essentially meant for the locals. Moreover, schools have to be in the vicinity of dwellings of the students. The system in Japan is worthy of mention at this juncture. Japanese parents intending to send their children to school are expected to file their application for admission with the City Municipal Corporation. The Corporation authorities will allot the school nearest to the students residence. The parent and the school will be informed accordingly. Under this system, there is no need for the students to commute for long distances to reach the school. This will do away with wastage of time, money, energy and fuel towards transportation; it will also minimize risks of accidents to school going children. This will also prevent overcrowding in a particular school. 12.2. Safety of children / students in and outside school, in playgrounds and in buses and vans should be ensured. School vans/buses used for pick-up and drop back of students from and to their homes should never be overloaded. Auto rickshaws exploit the situation overloading their vehicles with children precariously perched upon additional bars, seats and what not. This aspect has been dealt with elaborately under Transportation. 12.3. No advertisement hoardings should be erected anywhere near the schools. 12.4. All the aforesaid pertain to the physical domain -- the hardware aspects of the issue of making our schools hazard-free. 12.5. The other domain--the psychological domain encompassing academic provisos -- curriculum designing, syllabus, teacher training, teacher orientation, teacher attitude, teacher--pupil morale and the like of software aspects is dealt with elsewhere.


CHAPTER- XIII Hygiene and Sanitation 13.1. We had once upon a time zealously pioneered public cleanliness standards. The Artha Sastra recommends a fixed tariff of fines for leaving rubbish in the streets and stringent precautions against fires; every home was to keep elementary fire fighting equipment in readiness and on an outbreak of fire, all able bodied citizens in the neighbourhood were liable to be called to help out the flames. The city authorities were to provide drainage for surface water and fines were imposed for blocking the drains. People dirtying public streets faced fines. 13.2. We have no doubt provisions. But their enforcement leaves much to be desired. We are a people devoid of civil and civic sense. Even if there are waste bins, not many take the effort to put the waste inside the bins. Several such instances can be given. It is not necessary. The apparent reason for this flaw in our collective psyche -- as pointed out in a recent article is that we are all conscious of our own importance and because of this we feel that it is all right to create a mess, but not to clean it. The remedy has to start at home and in school for our youngsters to build up a better tomorrow. 13.3. If prizes were to be given for excellence in spreading germs, children would always be the winners. When they are not touching everything in sight, they are rubbing their eyes, noses and mouths, ensuring that any bugs they have picked up will have warm damp places to grow. 13.4. What is more, children who go to crches, play groups or school every day are exposed to dozens of other youngsters, each ready to share his or her own germs. 13.5. Of course, it is also a fact that such children who are thus exposed develop exceptionally robust immune systems. 13.6. Besides colds, some of the infections most commonly transmitted from child to child (and then, as often as not, to one or more adults) include diarrhoea and impetigo, a bacterial skin infection-- Toys, telephones, door knobs, counters and other potentially germ laden items and areas in the childs day care centre have to get disinfected every few days with dilute solution of a disinfectant like Dettol and water. 13.7. No strangers should be allowed inside the school. No private vendor should step inside the school premises. No free distribution of sweets or other eatables by outsiders to children should be allowed. 13.8. Uncleared garbage is a health hazard. There should be no heaping of unnecessary rubbish like waste paper, broken wooden bits inside the school premises. Inflammable materials are to be kept safe. Condemned articles should necessarily be written off and disposed of periodically. Bushes and poisonous plants


-- veritable safe haven for snakes and poisonous insects -- should be cleared. School uniform must be made of cotton material. Children in the nursery classes may be asked to wear sandals with buckled straps instead of full shoes and socks. 13.9. Our curriculum has ample scope to educate our children on all these aspects. Well, it is up to the teachers to put it across to them.


CHAPTER- XIV Discipline Without Corporal Punishment 14.1.1. A disciplined person is someone who has become a willing disciple or learner in the various activities of life. He knows the value of obeying genuine authority in its many forms-- A.G. Hughes and E.H. Hughes. 14.1.2. Discipline is most often conceived as a means of checking and correcting the fault lines in the individuals personality rather than the maintenance of external control, by restraining authorities such as parents, teachers, principals or representatives of the law. 14.1.3. Real discipline is self-discipline and it is necessary in the school for effective transaction of educational programmes as well as the wholesome development of the pupils. Discipline is possible through the free, happy, purposive and co-operative activities of the school. Self-discipline implies making pupils responsible for their own behaviours. Self-discipline or self-control develops gradually and the students have it in varying degrees. Students learn self-discipline through experiences that help them recognise the rights of others and balance these with their own needs for independence. 14.2. Indiscipline: 14.2.1. Factors often pointed out as causing school discipline problems or indiscipline are innumerable. These include arbitrarily imposed authoritarian methods, lack of planning, preparation and purpose in the school, disorderly classrooms, and unfairness on the part of the teachers. 14.2.2. Fundamentally, students who misbehave have unsatisfied emotional needs. Resentment and rejection in the home, school and / or community very often induce and encourage deviations in behaviours towards oneself and others. Misconduct is symptomatic behaviour and symptoms disappear once the underlying pressures are relieved. Students who create problems or become problematic in the classroom are usually those who have some personal difficulties. For instance, some students may have an unhappy life at home while others may not have any close friends in school. There may be some who cannot do the class work or some who find the work boring, monotonous and unchallenging. Some may have physical problems that interfere with their adjustment to the school environment. In short, the students bring with them a bewildering array of emotional, physical and social problems that it is no wonder why they misbehave sometime. 14.2.3. Students creating discipline problems may express their feelings of frustration in a variety of negativistic ways. They may break rules, hurt others, talk back, destroy property, refuse to do their school work, be truant, be insolent to teachers and so on. 14.2.4. Any misbehaviour that interferes with the learning process and cooperative living in the class room and school must be dealt with firmly and the


student who is responsible must be disciplined. However, disciplinary action or penalty that is not followed up with a well-organized plan to remove the causes of misbehaviour tends to create even more serious problems. Students can cultivate self-discipline only as they understand their behaviour and the way it affects themselves and others. Thus discipline as punishment is no real corrective for misbehaviour. 14.3. Punishment: 14.3.1. Punishment may create or reinforce a negative self-image in which a student sees in himself a wrong-doer, a criminal of sorts, an unacceptable person. When you punish a student, you are taking responsibility for what he / she has done. It appears that the wrong has been put right once the student suffers the pain or humiliation of the punishment. 14.3.2. The mildest form of punishment is reproof. The teacher should refrain from abuse and avoid sarcastic remarks so that the feelings of the students may not be wounded. Position of disgrace such as making a student stand upon a bench, or in a corner of the room, detention of the student after school hours, levying fines, deprivation of school privilege such as suspension and rustication from the school etc. are followed. These should be taken as the last resort when all other methods have been tried and found unsuccessful. 14.3.3. Physical or corporal punishment was very much in vogue once upon a time. But now, spare the rod and spoil the child has become obsolete.Today corporal punishment is totally banned by the Government. This is an age of general kindliness to all living creatures. 14.4. Rewards: While punishment causes pain, rewards give pleasure. These incentives can be arranged in an ascending order of importance. Material or tangible rewards such as prizes and books or money or articles, positions of honour or distinction, praise or approval from teacher and parents and appeal to ideals or sense of duty or satisfaction in doing the right thing. 14.5. Alternatives to punishment: 14.5.1. Students can be motivated and helped in developing self-discipline using a variety of means. As all students are not at the same level of self-discipline one will have to vary strategies accordingly. 14.5.2. Hold students responsible for performing class room duties. 14.5.3. Give them opportunities to guide their own class-mates progress by setting up a tutoring programme. 14.5.4. Encourage them to keep records of their own progress. Give them choices with regard to what books to read, interests to pursue, friends to be with, behaviour patterns to follow. 14.5.5. Prepare them to live with the consequences of their choices.


14.5.6. Grant them privileges as long as they are honoured. If a privilege is abused it should be taken away. 14.5.7. Provide the students with an opportunity in planning activities and making their own rules of behaviour. 14.5.8. It will be a good strategy for the teacher to continue many of the policies already in vogue and also work with the students to develop some rules to take care of the problems that seem to be arising. 14.5.9. If a rule is frequently violated, perhaps, the rule is unnecessary or perhaps something else is wrong with it. 14.5.10. Treat all students fairly and consistently. 14.5.11. Avoid confrontation with students in front of their peers. It is better to discuss problems rationally later during one to one conference. 14.5.12. Strive to build co-operative rather than antagonistic teacher-pupil relationship. 14.5.13. Do not impose petty and unnecessary rules. Have a tolerant-positive rather than punitive and authoritarian atmosphere. 14.5.14. Exhibit concern for pupils welfare and responsiveness to their needs. 14.5.15. Ensure that teachers themselves provide good models of behaviourinclude strategies that promote independent activities such as projects, lab work etc. 14.5.16. Make sure the class room is as comfortable and free from distractions. 14.5.17. Make the lessons interesting and fast-paced. 14.5.18. Motivate the students, for, a highly motivated student group seldom causes discipline problems. 14.5.19. Maintain good eye contact with the students during the class and use non-verbal communication to interact with the students. 14.5.20. Join the students in rejoicing; laugh with them and occasionally, laugh at yourself! For, a good laugh reduces stress.


CHAPTER- XV Desirable Disciplinary Practices 15.1. Reinforcers: Both verbal and non-verbal reinforcers are effective for encouraging good behaviour and discouraging improper conduct. 15.2. Restitutions: A student who takes or destroys something should be expected to return or restore it. If this is impossible, the student should compensate for the loss in some other way. Role Playing: Students appreciate the feelings of other students and see incidents in a new light when they role-play. Contracts: Agreements that deal with specified behaviours, tasks, responsibilities and rewards. They give the effect of legal commitment and are signed by both the teacher and the student. 15.3. Group Discussions: Guided and open discussions are good ways to handle disputes and discipline problems. 15.4. Suggestion Box: A suggestion box or grievances box allows students to express their dis-satisfaction or grievances. This may give the clue to solve problems of indiscipline. 15.5. Non-verbal signals: Effective use of non verbal signals and body language is one of the best forms of discipline. Eg. a smile, a nod, movement towards the student etc. 15.6. Time out: This may be used to remove a highly distractive student from the class for a brief period say 6 or 10 minutes. Until he or she can regain control of his / her behaviour. 15.7. Appeal to Reason: Explaining why good behaviour is necessary often convinces students resulting in their matching the penalty to the offence. A penalty should relate to the offence so that the student can see the seriousness of it.


CHAPTER- XVI Improving Behavioural Pattern Of Students 16.1. Kumbakonam tragedy made us realize the importance of post traumatic stress disorder among the students of Sri Krishna Aided Primary School. 16.2. Our spot inspection of vulnerable schools in all the districts of Tamil Nadu brought to light the prevalence of scholastic backwardness of students both in rural and urban settings among all age groups as voiced by the teachers. An indepth study revealed the incidence of mental retardation, dyslexic children, stuttering, physical handicaps, school drop-outs, behavioural and emotional disorders among school children. Some of these cases were not identified and consequently not given the necessary medical attention worsening the condition progressively with time. Teachers should necessarily be oriented to identify such cases and make referrals for necessary medical intervention. 16.3. Problems encountered in the school setting may be broadly divided into two categories. 1. Scholastic problems. 2. Mental health problems. Both need timely remedial steps. Our teachers need to be prepared on these lines. In the absence of school psychologists and limited resources, a school based approach of orientation of teachers in counselling may be worked out. NIMHANS, Bangalore has already made an attempt in this direction. 16.4. MODEL 1: Phase- I -- Orientation of Teachers in five weekly sessions of 1 hours each in groups of 20-30 members. The core contents: 1. Nature and cause of various problems. 2. Disorders of emotion such as extremely shy, with drawn etc. 3. Disorders of conduct viz. lying, stealing, copying in exams. 4. Poor school performance - Slow learners - Learning disabilities - Mental Retardation. 5. Serious Mental Illness. 6. Specific Adolescent Problems - Love Affair - School Refusal - Eve Teasing. Phase I will concentrate on orienting the teachers to recognise those cases that need to be controlled and the referral centres. Phase II - 20 or more weekly sessions of 1 hours duration for small closed groups of 8-10 teachers. The teachers will be trained in the management of cases which do not require referral to specialist and could be effectively handled in school.


16.5. MODEL 2 Peer Group Training to deal with Adolescent problems. The teachers already trained in counselling can mobilize a Peer Group through short-term Orientation Programme in 6 weekly sessions of 1 hour duration each in groups of 20-30 adolescent boys and girls. The following issues may be considered. Normal Physiology Normal Psychology Misconception of Development. Specific Adolescent Problems. Group Discussion. Mobilizing the NSS volunteers may be a more organized preposition. Higher Secondary Boys and Girls could form the core of Peer Educators and offer one-to-one counselling to boys and girls who need it. A survey conducted by ICDS has brought to surface a number of emotional problems encountered by our adolescents in school. In the urban they suffer from information explosion leading to an array of misconceptions. In the rural setting, the problem is of a different dimension, because they do not interact freely, very limited inter personal relations within the family and outside contributing to persistent superstition and misbelief -the exam blues, eve-teasing to quote a few.


CHAPTER- XVII Psychological Health Of Children 17.1. Our health is strongly determined by what we do or dont do, what we eat, what we drink, how we live and work and how our society is structured. Changing behaviour is not a simple matter. Most people have problems giving up the things they enjoy or are accustomed to. This is the challenge of behaviour change: providing the right framework--mental, physical, or social--in which an individual or group can change. 17.2. The psychological health of children is dependant on the physical environment. Schools with inadequate infrastructure contributing to unsafe and risky school climate have a definite impact on the learning behaviour and psychological health of the children. 17.3. The society at large and the community in particular, ignorant of the difference between laws, regulations and policies pertaining to these schools, just expect the Government to do something and set right the scenario. 17.4. Lobbying strategies are to be evolved to overcome this problem. In the present scenario, the rise of lobby is seen as a response to the limitation of traditional political and governmental decision-making processes. 17.5. Gearing up of the inspection mechanism of the school education department with strict enforcement of the laws / rules would certainly set right the situation. 17.6. Several recommendations in this direction with implementing strategies have been detailed elsewhere in the report. 17.7. The whole situation in the context of the schools in Tamil Nadu with health related behaviour and behaviour change strategies are presented in a nutshell in a tabular form in Chapter No.19.


CHAPTER- XVIII Special Children 18.1. In almost all the schools inspected, we have witnessed special children in the areas of hearing, visual, physical, cerebral palsy and mental handicaps. A few districts have developed special programmes with the help of SSA and local sponsors to promote these students into the main line of education. 18.2. There are other types of special children of socially parentless students, neglected children, school dropouts who also need special attention. Emotional and behavioural problems among school children 18.3. There is a strong misconception that emotional and behavioural problems in children will disappear when they grow up. But various research and clinical experiences have proved that this is not true. In fact, most of them continued to have and used to present in a major mental health problems. So, early identification is necessary and essential. 18.4. The important areas for early identification: Substance use, truancy, lying, imperativeness, school refusal, previous suicidal attempt, shyness, looking dull and in low interest in academic activities, post traumatic syndrome (PTS), chronic medical illness, family mental illness, alcoholic parents. These are some of the important indicators of a student in crisis which call for immediate help. 18.5. Post Traumatic Stress disorder: 18.5.1. Kumbakonam fire (manmade) and tsumani (natural crisis) affected the minds of the children in those areas by developing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. In Kumbakonam a significant number of students recovered from PTS after repeated counselling. But a few continued to have PTS due to family pathology and vulnerable behavioural traits. They need regular counselling and follow-up. 18.5.2. In the tsunami affected districts, the students continued to have PTS with inadequate counselling. The teachers of those schools are to be trained in counselling to help these children. 18.6. The following types of cases were seen during school inspection. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Mental Retardation. Slow learners. Learning disability. Child labour. Parentless children (orphans). Neglected children Hearing impaired. Visually challenged.


18.7. These special childrens needs were neglected more in the rural than in the urban areas. Special programmes under SSA are offering services to these children. But it is not uniformly available in all the districts. The available services are also not adequate to address the needs. 18.8. Mental Retardation 18.8.1. Students with limited learning potentialities are grouped as mental retardation. Mental Retardation refers to significantly below average general intellectual functioning. They have marked deficiency in adaptive behaviours. In rural background special training for these children were not adequate. These children can be grouped into 4 types based on IQ (IQ of 60-70) Mild retardation. (IQ of 36-49) Moderate retardation. (IQ of 21-34) Severe retardation. (IQ of 20 - below) Profound retardation. 18.8.2. Early identification and special training will enable the students to develop more independent skills to have a meaningful life. 18.9. Slow Learners: 18.9.1. 10-20% of students from various schools in all the districts reported of having slow learners. The main cause of this problem according to the teachers is attributed to socio-economic factors. In fact this is not the cause for all the children. Clinical experience and various research work recognized various types of causes for this type of slow learners. They are Learning disability Low IQ. Sensory handicap. Under stimulation Emotional problem Chronic medical illness. 18.9.2. Learning disability is one of the most important and serious conditions compared to other causes. They need systematic assessment and management by qualified persons. Learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding speech and writing which may manifest itself in an imperfectability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculation. The children with visual and learning handicap also have to be identified and with extra aids, their education will become really meaningful to them. In Dharmapuri, about 18000 students were identified as having mild visual impairments and were provided spectacles through local NGOs. The efforts taken by the local Collector is appreciated by the Commission and the team. The same thing can be followed in other districts also. 18.10. Hyper Active Children These children will have difficulty to sit in one place for sufficient period of time, easily distractible with inadequate learning. Though the major cause for this


condition is mostly environmental, sometimes it is biological also. This category of children tends to make the teaching-learning process joyless leading to frustration among the teachers towards their profession. Behaviour modification programme with parental support will sort out these problem behaviours. 18.11. Delinquent Behaviour Copying in examination, telling lies, avoiding classes, eve-teasing can be called as delinquent behaviour or conduct disorder. Such problem behaviour has to be identified at the early stages of schooling and appropriate remedial measures have to be tried out to modify this undesirable behaviour. 18.12. Other Groups of Special Children This group comprises socially deprived students like orphans, single parent children, neglected childrendue to migration, poverty, mentally ill and alcoholic parents--needs special psychological support in addition to regular academic activities. 18.13. School Drop-outs This group of special children due to child labour needs special services. The Government has already changed the school timings to suit the children who work in the fields during harvest time. 18.14. Adolescent Problems 18.14.1. In a few schools we have seen adolescent girls who are already married and a few drop outs because of early marriage. 18.14.2. Adolescents committing suicide reported in the media has caused considerable anxiety among parents and teachers. The escalating rate of emotional problem can be attributed to this. It was reported that suicidal children and adolescents have experienced higher levels of stress than the normal adolescents. Generally, they have experienced more dysfunctional families, trauma abuse, neglect and loss of status. 18.14.3. Another area at the adolescent level is the misconceived idea about normal physiological development during puberty and vulnerable behavioural traits which worsen the state of mental health of this group. 18.14.4. To overcome the adolescent crisis peer group training and involving them as volunteers for various self help and safety aspects of the school the following can be tried. Expanding students lines of communication to staff. Providing effective counselling including specialized student assistance as counsellors. High quality sex education.


CHAPTER- XIX Psychological Health -- Strategies to Facilitate Behaviour Change Among School Children in the Areas of Safety, Health and Nutrition in a Capsule.
Context (1) School Health related behaviour (2) Falls (on children) Environmental features (3) Unwanted heavy things stacked in the loft / ceiling raft. Ponds / Pools / water holding bodies in the school vicinity. Non-availability of shade structures. Behavioural change strategies. (4) Regular safety supervision.

Enforcement of pool fences.


Child Sun Protection

School policies Playground shade coverage -planting trees. Construction of proper classrooms. Avoiding classes in verandahs and open spaces. No Cap, no play -- wearing caps to be made compulsory. Playground to be levelled and maintained. Standards prescribed by NB Code to be scrupulously followed. Safety to be ensured as per standards prescribed.

Falls in children


Hardness of surface in playground - Guard rails on stairs - Parapet walls Narrow staircase Nails and other sharp metal pieces protruding from furniture Sharp edges of furniture. Over crowding Seating arrangement of benches etc. Small classrooms Excessive noise. Climatic discomfort Defective equipment (labs) Poorly maintained noon meal kitchens. Poorly maintained kitchen utensils and serving dishes. Unhygienic practices of staff.

Building Code to be strictly adhered to. Regular safety Auditing.

Food & Nutrition Food Poisoning

Norms to be strictly followed. BDOs to make surprise checks Well-lit and free-from-lizards -andinsects-kitchens needed Strict supervision by Noon Meal Organizer and Head Master of the School. Cleanliness of NMO, cook


Messy and hazardous procedure of serving hot food

Infectious / contagious diseases, Malnutrition

Consuming contaminated food -- sweet meat etc. from vendors inside / vicinity of school Open gutters at the entrance Kitchen waste not properly disposed of. Over crowding, poor ventilation of classrooms

to be ensured. Synthetic clothing to be avoided by kitchen staff, NMOand attender. Smoke to be directed through chimney Smokeless Chula / other technologies /alternative fuels to be used. Serving mixed vegetable sambar rice will save carrying heavy vessels filled with boiling sambar to serving place. Total ban on vendors inside or in the vicinity of school selling contaminated snacks / eats. Canteens run by schools not to be encouraged.

Gutters to be closed. Kitchen waste and water to be channelised properly.

Unclean Toilets

Class rooms should be as per NBC specifications in size, doors and windows with good lighting and ventilation . Providing enough toilets and maintaining them well. Periodical checks by Sanitary Inspector. Regular health check-up -tie up with PHC / Lions / Rotary.


Speeding and Quality roads unsafe driving. Maintenance of vehicles Traffic signals Traffic calming devices.

Accident reduction targets-- Speed Breakers etc. Teaching Traffic Rules. Mobilising Road Safety Patrol by students.


Corporal Punishment Transportation to School Body Posture (Bent)

Canes / sticks seen in Behaviour modification strategies classrooms dealt with in detail elsewhere. Two-wheeler driving Strict enforcement of road rules especially in the school zones.

School Urban/ Rural

Overcrowded travelling in Strict action against over crowding


Substance abuse.

Autos, Cycle rickshaws, in school transport. vans, school buses. Weight of the school bag. Policy to be formulated to reduce the weight of school bag.

Pan Parag empty sachets Total ban on sale of abusive substances in the school zone. found in classrooms Addiction to sniffing volatile substances. Poor Learners Poor Adaptive behaviours Learning disabilities Closer interaction with students by the teachers. Special Training

Special Children

Mental Retardation Medical examination Visually Providing necessary corrective aids challenged and will help them to have normal Hearing learning. impaired Hyperactive Nuisance to teachers and Teacher should adopt behaviour behaviours other students modification techniques to make learning enjoyable School timing to suit the children School drop-out Child labour with interesting extra curricular Religious visit activities. Migration Peer counselling. Early marriage. Learning Slow learners Already Government has issued disability Writing difficulty orders about the management of (Dyslexia) this type children. Awareness to be created among officials, teachers and parents.


CHAPTER- XX Psychological First Aid. 20.1. First Aid is the main physical first aid given to an injured or suddenly sick person by someone who happens to be present when the accident happens or the illness occurs. 20.2. Psychological First Aid - Is the help given to a person in a Psychic crisis by someone who happens to be present when the crisis arises. 20.2.2. Traumatic Crisis - When a person is subjected to a trauma - Giving immediate emotional support to those who are not only physically injured but psychologically as well. 20.2.3. Reactions to trauma follow a certain pattern. Phase of shock Phase of reaction Phase of dealing with crisis Phase of reorientation Shock - When you experience something you have not been exposed to. You get confused. Reaction - When the immediate danger is over, you begin to understand what has happened and react on experience. Dealing with a crisis - You have got accustomed to the situation and are able to concentrate on everyday life and take an interest in the future. Re-orientation - The crisis is over; experiences from the crisis pave a new foundation for your life. Physical First Aid (i.e.) life saving First aid has a top priority. Physical injuries caused by the traumatic event should be attended to first. Make sure that the injured person gets to the hospital alive. Behaviour recommendations for helpers: 1. Behave calmly. 2. Speak quietly in a normal pitch. 3. Stay with the person you are to help, instead of running from one place to another. 4. Show clearly that you have the time to take care of the injured person.


5. Avoid negative statements regarding early medical help, delay of ambulance, difficulty of reaching a hospital and doctor. 6. Listen to the affected person. 7. Listen and encourage the affected person to relate to you even if the talk is repetitive. 8. The affected person must be given the opportunity to express his experiences. 9. You must expose that you believe what he tells you, even if it is unbelievable, you must not comment or criticize his sayings. 10.By encouraging him to express his experiences he gets a chance to recognize that his fears are not a reality. This will help him overcome negative emotions of the event experienced. This will help him to focus on the traumatic event in a sequence and so lessen his state of panic. 11.A consoling / caring attitude (expressed by touch) is an important grip for the helper / bystander to have control over the situation because the affected person will unconsciously try to protect himself from the violent psychic trauma by reacting like a child. 12.The affected person can be allowed to cry. Crying - a strong outburst of feeling and a means of getting rid of extremely oppressive feelings. 13. Protect against inquisitive on-lookers 14. Do not allow the affected person to be alone. 15. Concentrate on privacy for the affected person. 16. Recovering from a psychological injury can take longer than recovering from a wound.


CHAPTER- XXI Quality In Education 21.1. The quality in any sphere can only happen by the people committed to it. The quality empowerment process as a mass movement will include creating a culture from the grass root levels to the highest echelons of the society wherein every one does his job, the best he can and takes pride in it. 21.2. Quality is not words only. It is people who can walk and talk, it is quality people. The quality people are not a matter of chance but a constant and conscious effort to groom them. The people with commitment, positive outlook, leadership abilities and a desire to excel have to be trained from the beginning with quality consciousness as their second nature. It is our academic institutions and schools which have to reorient themselves to changing needs by adapting to innovative ideas. They have to contribute not only by imparting formal education but also by shaping the attitudes and personalities of their pupils. In fact, education needs an expanded definition. 21.3. True education is training of both the head and the heart. If we want to build character in our schools, offices, homes and society, we must achieve moral and ethical literacy. Education that builds fundamental traits of character, spirit of team work, unity, honesty, compassion, courage and positive temperament are absolutely essential. 21.4. Schools should be centres of tremendous potential and scope to shape the attitudes, habits and personalities of the student by the teachers to make them total quality people, total quality citizen and total human beings. 21.5. To develop young boys and girls into dynamic, responsible, competent and value-oriented citizens, qualified to meet needs and manpower in various spheres of national life should be set as the goal of the school. 21.6. We are living in a global age and we need to develop a global consciousness and spirit of international understanding in the minds and hearts of our students. It is time to recognize that there is no magic bullet programmes and materials to bring about change but people can and when we talk about school improvement, we are talking about people improvement. 21.7. The National Policy on education gives pre-eminence to peoples involvement, including association of non-governmental agencies and voluntary effort. Peoples involvement should, even more than non-governmental agencies and voluntary associations, mean involvement of parent, developmental agencies, employers, professionally competent teachers and representatives of financing bodies with educational processes at all levels. Peoples involvement should lead to establishment of closer linkages between educational institutions and the community, improvement in relevance and quality of education, reduction of absenteeism and irresponsibility, greater access to community resources and better


discipline in the management of educational institutions. At the same time, it should eschew importation of local politics and power play into educational institutions. 21.8. This is all the more important in the context of improvement of the school infrastructure -- class rooms, furniture, drinking water supply -- water storage tank, noon meal kitchen, toilets, fire safety measures -- equipment, laboratories -equipment and maintenance -- compound wall or fencing -- to name a few. The PTA should be more active and contribute to resource mobilization. The individual subscription to PTA may be increased to Rs.100/- per student payable in monthly instalments of Rs.10/-. Over the years the amount collected may be accumulated and a corpus fund created and the interest can be utilized for maintenance without depending upon anybody else. 21.9. The PTA should also be made responsible for taking care of the enrolment and retention aspects of the school. Under SSA, elementary education has been made child-centred thereby bringing in a long-awaited reform in the system. The most important aspect of this reform has been to make education a joyful, inventive and satisfying learning activity rather than a system of routine and cheerless, authoritarian instruction. All these efforts would go waste if the strength in the school is going to go down. Therefore enrolment and retention have to be taken care of. Enrolment by itself is of little importance if children do not continue education beyond even one year, many of them not seeing the school for more than a few days. Therefore emphasis should be on retention and completion of schooling by all children. Teachers, with the support of the community should counsel the parent on the relevance of schooling and importance of regularity and attendance. 21.10. If a child has been absent for say 2 to 3 days consecutively, the teacher and / or members of the VEC should approach the family of the child and persuade them to send the child to school to resume regular attendance. 21.11. A comprehensive system of incentives and support services are already being provided by the Government of Tamil Nadu to girls and children of the economically weaker sections of the society. Free uniforms, books, midday meal, bus-passes, scholarships, hostel facilities, tooth powder, footwear and the latest bicycles and community certificate, free of charge are all provided by the Government under various schemes for children, who fall below the poverty line. 21.12. Despite all these favourable conditions, the attitude of the parents towards the kind of education their children must receive is deplorably retrograde. They try to derive vicarious pleasure by providing their wards with a kind of education they themselves never had a chance to receive. They send their children to schools--pre-KG--when they are not 2 years old. Provisions for such early admissions are not made by the Government. It is in this little gap did the moneyminded people, who call themselves educators, find a fertile soil to start a number of private nursery schools. 21.13. What started with so small a number as 30 nursery schools has now increased to more than 4600. Though they originally had social service as their


motto, now they have become money-spinning business centres. The fees collected has also increased in proportion to the vertical growth of the buildings. This development can be attributed mainly to the enormous importance parents attach to English medium education. 21.14. While coming to high schools, these English medium children are constrained to continue in the same medium and do not join Government schools. Strangely enough, the standard of under-paid teachers in English medium schools is far below that of Government school teachers who are better paid and better qualified. This is one of the reasons for drop-out at the 6th standard. 21.15. Strangely enough, the ratio of admission to government schools offering almost all things free and private schools which fleece the parents over the recent years is staggeringly contrary. While enrolment in Government schools has reduced, it has been steadily increasing in the private schools. Most of the private schools are located in cramped areas with no easy entrance or exit, whereas Government schools have better buildings and a lot of moving and play space. 21.16. Anganwadis with pre-school sections-- Pre-KG, LKG and UKG -- were started with the good intentions of functioning as a feeder to the Government schools. But, this did not happen. Vans from far-away English medium schools fetched those children into their schools located in remote places. This should be reviewed and rectified. Further, Government schools should start parallel English medium sections and fees may be collected. 21.17. Yoga: Efforts should be made to provide instruction in Yoga at all stages of education upto the higher secondary stage. 21.18. The non-detention policy has been accepted in principle for quite sometime. In practice, however, for one reason or other, a large percentage of children still repeat their classes. Non-detention policy will be effectively implemented upto Class VIII, while also ensuring that the minimum learning competencies are reached. The child should, through sustained efforts of the teacher, be made to achieve the prescribed minimum learning competencies through remedial teaching / special coaching classes, before he is promoted to the next higher class.


CHAPTER- XXII Promotion Of School Complexes 22.1. School complexes as a network of institutions on a flexible pattern will be promoted to provide synergic alliances to encourage professionalism among teachers, ensure observance of norms and conduct and enable the sharing of experiences and facilities. The school complex will form a cluster of 8--10 institutions in which different institutions can reinforce each other by exchanging resources, personnel, material, teaching aids etc and using them on a sharing basis. 22.2. This could also solve some of the problems pertaining to maintenance of school campus, toilets etc. Invariably, Government schools have a lot of space but little or no manpower for their maintenance. Full-time maintenance staff are not available due to various reasons. In such cases, such people can be appointed on contract for the school complex as a whole. Self Help Groups as service providers have developed in the rural areas. Though an unorganized section, such services are rendered in an organized or systematic manner. This methodology has been successfully administered in the maintenance of the campus and toilets of the Vellore Collectorate. This success story may be followed in schools also.


CHAPTER- XXIII Peoples Participation And Involvement Of Voluntary Agencies The successful implementation of the several educational programmes will require peoples involvement and participation in educational programmes at grass root level and participation of voluntary agencies and social activist groups on a much larger scale. Considering the need for ensuring relationship of the genuine partnership between the Government and voluntary agencies Government will take positive steps to promote their wider involvement. Consultations may be held with them from time to time and representation given to them on bodies responsible for making decisions in respect of them. They shall be assured necessary facilities to participate in the implementation of programmes and procedures for selection of voluntary agencies and the financial assistance will be streamlined to enable the voluntary agencies to play optimal role.


CHAPTER- XXIV Disasters and Disaster Management 24.1. Disaster is a very broad term, used for many occurrences or events which cause widespread destruction. 24.2. While there are many definitions of disaster, some common points which qualify an event as a disaster are: 1. Widespread destruction of human life and infrastructure. 2. Usually sudden occurrence with low predictability of the event. 3. Need for large-scale interventions following the event. 24.3. While geographic and climatic conditions are mainly responsible for the occurrence of frequent disasters, the huge loss of life and property are a result of many other factors as well. Inadequacy of warning communication systems, lack of preparedness and disaster management plans, inadequate urban planning, shelters which do not conform to standards etc. all contribute to increasing the vulnerability of people. A significant amount of damage resulting from disasters can be reduced by better planning and preparedness. 24.4. Disasters may be classified into two broad categories based on the cause: 1. Natural Disasters 2. Man-made Disasters. Natural disasters are those which are caused by various natural processes occurring on the earth. Examples of natural disasters include earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, landslides, floods, tsunamis etc. Man-made disasters are those caused by human activities or negligence and include industrial accident, deliberate forest fires, fires in residential and commercial places etc. Epidemics are often regarded as man-made disasters even though they have biological origins. 24.5. India is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, owing to its geographic, climatic and geological characteristics. The Indian subcontinent is highly vulnerable to droughts, floods, cyclones and earthquakes with around 87 per cent of Indias land prone to one or other kind of disaster. 22 out of 32 states / union territories in the country are vulnerable to one or the other disaster. 24.6. The teachers and the taught have to be sensitized to the need and role of preparedness in mitigating the effects of disasters. Carrying the message of preparedness through teachers / educators to children is an effective way to prepare a whole generation to respond to disasters. It is also a way to reach out to the community. Students prepared to face disasters can serve as useful volunteers and also motivate the community to be better prepared. 24.7. It is therefore imperative to include disaster management as a component in the curriculum for student as well as teachers (trainees). Every disaster management covers three phases viz. Prevention or preparedness, the event, Response and Recovery, Development.


Drop, cover and Hold Drill in the event of an Earthquake (or Earthquake Drill) are to be practised regularly. So also, Fire Drill should become a regular and frequent exercise. There must be crisis management teams to act on disaster situations and also hold people accountable for standard practices.


CHAPTER- XXV Capacity Building 25.1. The entire software aspect is to be learner-centred. Teachers have to be oriented / prepared on these lines. 25.2. Traditionally, teachers have enjoyed a position of great respect in our country. Religious leaders and social reformers have been addressed as teachers of the people. Hundreds of thousands of teachers are still held in esteem by their pupils and the community. The teacher is the principal means for implementing educational programmes and the organization of education. The principal role of the teacher is and will always be teaching and guidance of their pupils, not only through classroom instruction and tutorials but by personal contact and numerous other ways teachers have always employed for building the character of their pupils. Teachers at all stages have to be expected to undertake or promote research, experimentation and innovation. Teachers have an indispensable role in extension and social service. They have also to participate in the management of a variety of services and activities which educational institutions undertake, to implement their programme. 25.3. Education is a process of human enlightenment and empowerment for the achievement of a better and a higher quality of life. A sound and effective system of education result in the continuous development of learners potentialities, the strengthening of their skills and the fostering of positive interests, attitudes and values. 25.4. Thus, effective teacher education acquires an even more crucial issue, becoming a key factor ensuring quality school education. In other words, effective formal education implies effective teacher education. 25.5. Teachers can act as trail-blazers in the lives of learners and in the process of education for development. If they acquire the professional competence and attitudes that enable them to effectively perform their multiple tasks in the classroom, in the school and in the community, teachers become the single most important contributing factor in ensuring quality education. 254.6. In the last decades of the 20th century, society had witnessed unprecedented technological advancement and economic, political and socio-cultural changes that must be reflected in the school. Indeed, these events have already had a very significant impact on schools around the world. 25.7. Clearly, all of these changes have profound implications for the content and processes of teacher education. If teachers are to be able to provide quality education in the face of these challenges, there is an urgent need for on-going reform of teacher education. Effective teacher education for both elementary and secondary stages of schooling has now to be conceived within a more


comprehensive paradigm encompassing a number of inter-related components. These components include the following: 1. Pre-service and initial teacher education: To be provided in a systematic, professional way to all new teachers entering the teaching profession. Recurrent in-service teacher orientation: To be offered on a recurrent basis and in an organized manner to practising teachers through orientation seminars, workshops, tele-conferences and other such programmes in response to new professional needs and to ensure continued teacher motivation. Continuing professional self-training: According to their individual needs, interests and specific professional responsibilities teachers should, pursue their own self-directed and life long learning through books, journals, audio-visual aids and other available information and communication technologies. They should utilize the resource centres for this type of professional development.



Pre-service teacher education should be the start of a process of transforming lay persons into competent and committed professional educators. The aim of preservice teacher education is to prepare the uninitiated to become sound professional practitioners. In the light of this definition, the curriculum for teacher education must be competency-based and commitment-oriented. 25.8. In-service teacher education refers to a recurrent, organized and needsbased continuing education for practising teachers so that they may update and enrich their professional competence, strengthen their commitment and enhance their role and performance in the classroom, school and wider community. As new developments take place in the curriculum, educational techniques, evaluation procedures, classroom management and other aspects of school education, new needs will constantly arise for in-service training, calling for recurrent provision. For example, Disaster Management, Fire Drill, etc. should form the integral part of the core content. 25.9. All in-service training/orientation/ refresher programmes for teachers should be organized only during holidays/vacation and not during working/teaching days. Absence of teachers from classes adversely affects the students especially at the primary level which has only two teachers. Even if one teacher is absent for any one reason, the school is left with just one teacher for five classes which is not conducive for the learning process to be effective and discipline is at stake. 25.10. In addition to these organized efforts, all teachers should be encouraged and given opportunities for continuous self-study related to their own professional needs, interests and responsibilities. A successful and dynamic teacher remains a self-motivated and self-directed learner through-out his/her career. It is this self-directed and life-long learning that supplements and complements the organized section of teacher education and becomes an important dimension in a


comprehensive paradigm of professional education for teachers in contemporary society. 25.11. If these three components of teacher education are to be realized, a major review of existing teacher education provision needs to be undertaken. Any such effort must establish and define the basic competencies required by teachers within prevailing social, economic and cultural conditions and also foresee the new educational needs and challenges likely to arise within the initial decades of the 21st century. 25.12. The following performance areas may be considered while reviewing / renewing teacher education curriculum Performance in the class room: includes teaching and learning processes, evaluation techniques and class room management. Performance at school level: for greater all-round contribution to school organization and management. Performance in extra-curricular and out-of-school activities Performance related to parental contact and cooperation: for improved enrolment, attendance and student achievement. Performance related to community contact and cooperation: should focus on improving school community relationship for mutual development and enrichment. 25.13. In order to equip teachers in these performance areas, related competencies have to be identified. These competencies may be: contextual, conceptual, curricular and content, transactional, extra-curricular, teaching / learning materials-related, evaluation, management, parental contact and cooperation related, community contact and cooperation related. 25.14. Performance appraisal/assessment of teachers should be inbuilt. 25.15. While every teacher must master professional competencies, it has been observed that, by themselves, they do not necessarily result in effective performance. The actual performance of trained teachers in the classroom or school is equally dependent--if not more dependent--on their levels of commitment and motivation. The task of fostering professional commitment among teachers must become an integral part of pre-service and in-service teacher education. The following five areas of commitment may be considered: 1. Commitment to the learner: concern for the all-round development of all pupils. 2. Commitment to the society: awareness of, and concern about the impact of the teaching profession on the development of the community and the nation. 3. Commitment to the profession: development of a professional ethic and sense of vocation. 4. Commitment to excellence: in all aspects of a teachers roles and responsibilities.


Commitment to basic human values: to become a role model in the classroom and community through genuine and consistent practice of professional values, such as impartiality, objectivity and intellectual honesty. 25.16. The attitude and mind-set of the teachers have to be modified in view of the traumatic situations happening in the schools and various scientific achievements in the filed of education and other allied fields like psychology. 25.17. To improve the involvement of the teachers, regular training programmes in the areas of problem solving skills, assertiveness, communication, behaviour modification techniques, stress, management skills and team-building skills regularly have to be arranged for teachers as part of their refresher courses. 25.18. Educational psychology as one of the subjects of teacher-trainees has to be updated/enriched/revised by including various types of problems affecting the students mental health for appropriate early remedial measures.


CHAPTER- XXVI Professional Teacher Preparation 26.1. John Adams rightly said Teacher is a maker of man. For, the ultimate factor in education that can work, the miracle, is the teacher. Only when he/she is of the right intellectual and moral calibre can any reform be successfully implemented Therefore, the best available brains in the country should be inducted into the teaching profession to entrust with them the responsibility of creating, codifying and disseminating knowledge for the training of man power for the future. 26.2. It is said that thought is the man. History has ample evidences to show how the thought--processes of an individual have influenced the society and brought about radical changes. Education has a key role in shaping the thought pattern of an individual or a group. Therefore, it is a vital instrument of social change. Over the centuries, every society has placed education on its priority agenda, so that future generations take over the heritage of the past and interweave it in the fine fabric of the present, progress towards a future that would ensure them happiness, prosperity and peace. 26.3. The quality of education depends mostly on the quality of teachers. Hence, teacher education a significant part of the educational system. The constitutional commitment, the Directive Principles of State Policy, the strides made in science and technology and transition in educational system call for an appropriate system for teacher education. That the teachers of future need to upgrade and review their skills from time to time, is a stark reality. 26.4. A few challenges facing teacher-education in the state in the context of the 21st century: --Inculcating national values and goals in moulding young minds. --Teachers as agents of social change are responsible for the sublimation of character. --Promoting social cohesion and international understanding. --Developing critical awareness regarding social realities. --Creating awareness about environment, ecology, population, gender equality, social justice, illiteracy and other priority issues. 26.5. The teacher-education by its very nature is inter-disciplinary. In order to produce the first human resource viz. teachers, it is imperative to make use of the infrastructural facilities and resources such as library, laboratory etc. The need of the hour is student-centred teaching and providing guidance and counselling. 26.6. The various developments in the field of communication have thrust the teachers into the role of torchbearers in disseminating knowledge. Hence, communication skills of both the teachers and the learners are of paramount importance. 26.7. In order to update the current trends and needs, it is imperative to incorporate the following aspects in teacher education.


Gradual change-over from conventional programmes of teacher education to integrated courses. Stage-specific theoretical and practical components, transactional strategies and evaluation. Flexible and pragmatic approach to plan programmes of teacher education. To maintain good links with the community; programmes such as NSS, Community Social Service should be included in teacher education.

26.8. Teacher education must prepare professionals to visualize correlations between self, society and nature. The foundation of education is being threatened by devaluation of our values, cultural ethos and moral and ethical degeneration. The greatest danger to this edifice of education springs from unmotivated and apathetic teaching professionals. 26.9. Moral instruction imparted through text books and transmitted by teachers through chalk and talk and other methods do not bring about any significant change in the students. Personality Development approach is the only ideal value orientation method. A large variety of activities planned and implemented in this direction will help in the development of personality of students. 26.10. Efforts need to be made and strategies have to be evolved to develop competencies and skills in moulding the teacher trainee for an effective role play. 26.11. In order to be effective, the teacher trainees have to build managerial skills, organizational efficiencies, leadership skills, democratic attitudes, innovative and creative abilities. 26.12. The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), in its Curriculum Framework for Quality Teacher Education has suggested the following to give a more meaningful direction to the teacher education programme. Research findings in the areas of Science, Anthropology etc. have to be included in the curriculum of teacher education to enhance its relevance to the Indian situation and to make it more functional. The programmes of teacher education have to be increased to be properly utilized for the inclusion of additional inputs of theoretical, pedagogical and practical components and proper allocation of time and resources. Seminars and meetings of teachers, teacher educators, administrative functionaries at the state level have to be organized periodically. The expenditure on education, particularly on teacher education, is an investment in the nations future. So, institutions willing to conduct innovative pre-service, in service teacher training programmes should be financially assisted by the centrally sponsored schemes. It is essential that teacher training institutions should strengthen their relationship with schools. There should be constant interaction with the schools.


Organizing periodical refresher and orientation programmes for the school teachers at all levels so as to equip them with the latest information in the field.

26.13. In order to realize the above, the Directorate of Teacher Education, Research and Training (DTERT) has to be revamped / re-oriented to serve the changing scenario of Teacher Education which needs constant updation. People at the helm of affairs should necessarily have research orientation since their role in strengthening school education is a stupendous task. 26.14. To quote Coleridge, Good teacher education curriculum aims at the development of balanced personalities who are culturally refined, emotionally stable, ethically sound, intellectually alert, socially efficient, spiritually upright and physically strong. In short, man may be made better not as a consequence of education but during the process of education. 26.15. The three basic responsibilities of teacher education are teaching, research and extension and they must be reflected in every phase of our education system. Changes in the communication network consequent on developments in information technology warrant teaching at all levels to be modern, innovative and concurrent with the latest developments to face the emerging challenges of the future. 26.16. Restructuring of curriculum, revamping and updating the syllabi of teacher education must take cognizance of the following: 1. High Degree of Professionalism. 2. Vanishing disciplinary boundaries. 3. Social relevance. 26.17. The basic mission of teacher education system should be viewed in terms of the indispensable demands of the society characterized by the democratic values, high demands for learning, felt needs of the society for new knowledge and new occupations and flexibility to cope with the inevitable socio-economic changes. The present decade being the decade of education for all requires us to redefine the job requirement of the teacher educators to face the challenges with confidence. The centrally sponsored scheme Sarva Siksha Abhyan should be utilized to the maximum in up scaling the professional competencies of our teachers. 26.18. The teacher-trainees who are attached to schools for teaching practice should be made to participate and get trained in not only the methodology of curriculum transaction, but other aspects of the school too; the running of a school-its management, the school routine, management of a crisis, prevention of accidents, facing the situation should an accident occur, rehabilitation and development measures. 26.19. Resource mobilization should also form a part of their training. 26.20. Community interaction, counselling strategies - for parents - towards increasing the enrolment and retention of enrolled students.


26.21. Organizing Fire Drills, Mock fire situations, operation of fire extinguisher, learning first aid, dealing with special children, dealing with gifted children etc. 26.22. All the aforesaid and much more form part of the curriculum for teacher education. But, it is all in theory! All teacher trainees should practise these during their attachment programme in schools. 26.23. The faculty of the DIETs should supervise such activities and award scores to be considered for their assessment. 26.24. The B.Ed. Degree Course should necessarily provide for action research as part of its curriculum. 26.25. Such researches undertaken by the trainees should be disseminated to others through seminars. The findings should be noted by the DTERT for its ongoing programmes for in-depth study so that further improvement could be based on such findings. 26.26. Worthy findings could be transmitted to the NCERT for wider infusion into the education system at the national level. 26.27. The DIET and SSA training programmes should be supervised by expert educationists which might produce the expected results. 26.28. All central schools, schools under CBSE, Matric, and ICSE system employ B.Ed. teachers to teach classes VI, VII and VIII. This helps to lay a strong foundation in the formative stages. This will also minimize failures in standard X besides improving their performance in standard XII. This may be thought of, for being implemented in the Government schools also. 26.29. The department needs to evolve a methodology; preferably a computer evaluation of the performance of teachers during their in-service training. 26.30. This performance appraisal should be taken into consideration for promotional aspects and other professional credits. 26.31. Managerial skill development should form an important and integral part of the capacity building / competency upscaling / career advancement programmes. This will equip them to administer schools more efficiently. 26.32. An attachment programme for the inspecting officers also should be designed and executed. 26.33. For both--teacher education and management training, linkages should be established at national and international levels for more professional inputs. 26.34. All these will definitely go a long way to equip the teacher to:


Teach Educate Animate Counsel develop uniformly the Head, Heart and Hand Encourage and Repeat this work with patience.


CHAPTER- XXVII Press (Media) - Its Role 27.1. It is now time to deal with the press. The Privy Council in Channing Arnold Vs. Emperor as far back as 1914 (AIR 1914 PC 166) observed that the freedom of the journalist is an ordinary part of the freedom of the subject and to whatever length the subject may go, so also may the journalist, but apart from statute law, his privilege is no other and no higher. The range of his assertions, his criticisms or his comments is as wide as, and no wider than that of any other subject. 27.2. It was Soli Sorabjee who said If accountability is the key to democracy, whom is the press accountable to. Amartya Sen Press freedom should be coupled with obligations and responsibilities. Prannoy Roy Journalists tend to judge others rather harshly but do not apply the same yardstick to themselves. It is time we regulated ourselves, before someone else does it for us. 27.3. It is rather sad that the press and more appropriately the media have viewed tragedies as events. And in the words of Sainath the author of Everybody loves a good drought, the belief that only events make news, not processes, distorts understanding. The media had singularly dramatized the Kumbakonam tragedy as an event without properly highlighting the causes that led to the tragedy. The electronic media which has greater reach, in that, it can impact even illiterate homes, has misused its unlimited scope and has been irresponsible. 27.4. Extracted below are the reactions in the media itself to the role played by it during the Kumbakonam tragedy and after. The families outrage together with considerable public consternation had simmered during the days of uncertainty and was further fuelled by the repeated projection of the scene by an irresponsible media. Splashing pictures and the showing of the dead are violations of human rights of the deceased. It is regrettable that the bodies of the dead were displayed in a very unpleasant state that they would do anything about it. The media people forget that human beings are entitled to the right of modesty even after they are dead. Photos of such intensity ought not to have been published. The media coverage of the charred remains of the children and the wailing relatives was deeply disturbing, both for its content and a lack of courtesy for fellow human beings. The least society can give a deceased person is dignity in death. On the same note, mourning is an extremely personal and private emotion. To showcase peoples grief is also violation of their human rights.


There is one other aspect of newspaper and TV culture that we need to think about. When a body is laid out for public homage, photographers have this macabre habit of taking close up pictures of the face and other paraphernalia of deathliness. This is not only disagreeable to readers and viewers, but it is also disrespectful to the deceased. The nonstop telecast of the tragedy in the media had evoked fear amongst parents. The following is an extract from a news item which appeared in a leading English daily on the 17th of June 2005 and the news related to the death of a television and film actress. Lens men caused embarrassment in the room at the moment of the grief of the family members of the actress. A popular Tamil news channel not only entered the premises of the artiste but also chased the family all the way to the crematorium. Friends of the deceased artiste alleged harassment by nagging photographers. Please give her the right to die with dignity, a friend pleaded. This is a public place, the news channels journalist argued at the crematorium. News reports speculating reasons for her death were insensitive and baseless, the family said. `Suffering makes a good story is commonly the way many would describe the media coverage of disasters. Often, reports show starving children and farmer suicides due to drought, or the homeless after earthquakes or cyclones or people running after relief material. But the role that needs to be played by media is to disseminate information and warnings about impending disasters, sensitizing and making people aware of what is to be done for disaster preparedness, highlighting stories of survival and successful rehabilitation and carrying out sustained media campaigns to help bring about necessary institutional and policy changes. Media also needs to highlight what type of help and aid is needed, where and when. While some newspapers, magazines, channels, etc. do this, there are several who do not. Media needs to play a responsible role because media coverage affects the perceptions and perspectives of decision-makers, aid agencies and the public at large. 27.5. It is high time the media realized its responsibility and began playing a constructive role.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Commission and the Members of the Panel wish to place on record their grateful appreciation of the excellent support, guidance, suggestions and inputs received from various personalities, from the fields of education, administration, Fire and Rescue service, NGOs etc., in the preparation of Part II of the Report of the Commission dealing with measures for prevention of accidents in schools in future. They particularly thank the following: 1. Dr.S.V.Chittibabu Former Vice Chancellor, Annamalai University, Madurai Kamaraj University. 2. Thiru B.S.Raghvan IAS (Retd.) Former Administrator & Policy Adviser to UN (FAO) 3. Dr. Ramani Former Vice Chancellor, SCSVMV 4. Thiru S.S.Rajagopalan Educationist 5. Thiru Vijay Batlagundu NRI 6. Thiru Dogra IPS Inspector General of Police & Director,Fire and Rescue Services Tamil Nadu 7. Prof.Dr.P.Subramanian Tiruchirapalli Director, National Institute of Technology,

8. Prof.Dr.M.S.Saravanan Retd. Chairman and MD Tamil Nadu Minerals Ltd.,Director of Collegiate Education,Director of Geology and Mines, Govt. of Tamil Nadu

The Commission and the Panel Members thank the District Collectors who evinced keen interest in the inspection visits and for the hospitality extended. Some of them also accompanied the team during the inspections. Special mention needs to be made of the Chief Educational Officers who were with the team throughout the spot inspection of the schools in the districts along with their inspecting officers which was of immense help to the Commission and the Panel Members. Lists of the Inspecting Officers who accompanied the team are furnished separately. The Commission and the Members of the Panel are highly thankful to the programmers Thiruvalargal K.Dandapani K.John, N.Gowrishanker A.D.Senthilkumar, Senthil and Anandan for their meticulous care in computing the data and converting them into graphics.


Thiruvalargal S.Indra Mohan Deputy Secretary to Government and Secretary to the Commission of Enquiry, R.Rajkumar Section Officer, R.Dhanasekharan Assistant Section Officer, G.Chelladurai Personal Assistant, Krishnan Pitchai, Senior Personal Clerk, K.Gandhi Assistant K.Vivekanandan Office Assistant R.Parthasarathy Office Assistant, Nagaraj, Nagarajan Staff Car Drivers, Manian and Tmt.Mangalam temporary employees and the security police personnel did their respective jobs satisfactorily and the Commission and the Panel Members thank them all profusely. Thiruvalargal G.James Assistant Registrar High Court, Madras. L. Anandan P.A. High Court and K.Munia Pillai Senior Office Assistant were specially drafted from the High Court for the Commission work and they did their job admirably well. Thirumathi I.G.Palammal Retired P.A. to the High Court Judges took non stop notes and transcribed them with great devotion. Thiru Muthuvel and his Assistant from the Government did the binding job well. The Commission and the Panel Members thank all the aforesaid persons as also those who have been left out due to oversight. Justice K. Sampath Chairman 30-06-2005 Expert Panel Members Dr. Rani Kandhaswami Convenor Tmt. Girija Vaidyanathan., I.A.S., Secretary to Government School Education, Chennai-9 Tmt. M. Sheela Priya.,I.A.S., Secretary to Government Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department, Chennai - 9 Thiru S.Jayachandramohan.,B.E., Chief Engineer (Buildings), Chennai600 005

Thiru S.K. Saxena

Thiru K. Vijayan

Thiru P.A. Annamalai


SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am greatly indebted to the Panel Members, who were of immense help during our inspection of the schools and during the preparation of the Report on Safety Measures. I am particularly beholden to Dr. Rani Kandhaswami, Former Principal of Lady Willington Institute of Advanced Studies in Education for the great and responsible role played by her in marshalling the data collected and the suggestions received by us from various sources, assimilating them, correlating them and pigeon holing them under different heads. Her rich and varied experience in the field of education came in very handy for our purpose. Our Clinical Psychologist Thiru K. Vijayan did an excellent job counselling the affected children and the parents who had lost their children in the Kumbakonam fire tragedy. During our inspection of the schools Thiru Vijayan identified mentally and physically challenged children with uncanny perception and suggested ways and means for overcoming the deficiencies. To Thiru Saxena we owe a special thanks for the extraordinary interest he took in spotting fire/accident prone areas in the schools and the aggressive posture he took against the managements who were very casual about safety measures. He was particularly severe when he found that even elementary precautions had not been taken in the laboratories in the schools inspected. Thiru P.A. Annamalai, Retired Headmaster, Cheyyar High School took special interest in the functioning of noon meal centres, their cleanliness and the quality of food served there. He felt very much annoyed whenever he found that the quality was poor and cleanliness was a casualty. Special thanks are due to Thiru K. Gnanadesikan, I.A.S., Secretary, Finance, Government of Tamil Nadu and Tmt. Girija Vaidyanathan, I.A.S., Secretary, School Education, our past and present convenors who were a source of great strength and support to the Panel of Experts during the entire Commission work. They were there available at all times to clarify and supplement with relevant data and particulars and to offer ready solutions whenever needed. Tmt. G.K. Gariyali, I.A.S., the then Secretary, Municipal Administration, evinced keen interest in the Commission work. Thiru Jayachandra Mohan, Chief Engineer, Buildings, came forward with very valuable suggestions which have all been incorporated in the Recommendations. I wish to thank Thiru T. Pitchandi., I.A.S., Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department and Thiru G. Ramakrishnan., I.A.S., Secretary to Government, Public Department, Thiru S. Retnasamy, Additional Secretary to Government, Public Department for taking care of our administrative hiccoughs and ensuring hazzle free conduct of the affairs of the Commission. The Secretary to the Commission Thiru S. Indra Mohan and the staff Thiru R. Rajakumaran, S.C. S.O., Thiru R. Dhanasekharan, Assistant Section Officer, Thiru G. Chelladurai, Personal Assistant, Thiru Krishnan Pitchai, Senior Personal Clerk, Thiru K. Gandhi, Assistant, Thiru K. Vivekanandan, Office Assistant, Thiru R. Parthasarathy, Office Assistant, Thiru Nagaraj, Driver No.1, Thiru Nagarajan, Driver No.2, Thiru Manian, Office Assistant and Tmt. Mangalam, Mazdoor did their respective assignments satisfactorily and the Commission thanks them profusely.


Again, Thiru G. James, Assistant Registrar, Tmt. I.G. Palammal, P.A., Thiru L. Anandan, P.A. and Thiru K. Munia Pillai, Senior Office Assistant, need special mention for their unstinted services during the inspection of schools and subsequently during the preparation of the Report. In the compilation of Part II of the Report the Commission and the Panel have liberally used materials from various sources which include books, periodicals, newspapers such as The Readers Digest, The Economist, India Today, Outlook, The Week, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, Strait Times etc., It may be difficult to pinpoint the source with particular reference to individual sentences or passages, but the sources themselves may be able to identify if they chance upon this Report. The Commission thanks all the sources for the materials used in this Report.