Govt sets space norms to keep schools on leash in city

Govt sets space norms to keep schools on leash in city

A notification by the government has spelt out particular guidelines for the functioning of schools and also drawn up specifications on the infrastructure. File photo

Putting an end to the unbridled growth of schools that have mushroomed across Bengaluru, the government has laid down stringent rules for their setting up and functioning in the state.

A notification by the government has spelt out particular guidelines for the functioning of schools and also drawn up specifications on the infrastructure.

It may be recollected that a few years ago, the government — upset by the number of applications it received for starting schools — had contemplated imposing a ban on establishing new ones.

The fresh guidelines will effectively check to start of schools in the basements of buildings with little ventilation or in shed-like structures. The new rules are set to ensure better safety for children.

Emphasis has been given to pre-primary schools as well. Any school that has been established after 2017-18 and is yet to secure permission from the department of education to commence classes is bound by these guidelines.

Pre-primary classes are to be conducted only on the ground floor of the school building with an area of at least 2,000 square feet.

In what could be a measure to also curb excessive intake of students, the area ought to be provided per student has also been recommended.

One square metre space in the carpet area must be provided per student.

Nagasimha G Rao from the Child Rights Trust said, “Schools have no playing field in several places. A lobby of schools had approached the government seeking an excuse that children will be taken to nearby parks and corporation fields. There are several schools with no ground nearby, and many give physical education a skip.”

Stating that schools must grow horizontally and vertically, he said that having such guidelines will ensure children have some place to play.

“The UNCRC Article 31 states that children have a right to play. Ideally, these rules must apply to existing schools as well. Why the discrimination?” he sought to know.

Meanwhile, Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Association of Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), said that it was a welcome move by the government.

“These specified dimensions of areas are minimum requisites for a child to groom. If not, schools are started even in sheds,” he said.