Nodal officers appointed for school safety

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has nominated nodal officers for the implementation of the statutory school safety guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

In August this year, the Supreme Court had accepted the draft disaster management policy for schools, issued by the NDMA in 2016. The apex court had directed all states to ensure implementation of the measures in the policy. It had also asked states to appoint nodal officers to monitor implementation.

As directed by the Ministry of Human Resources Development and NDMA, the DPI has nominated deputy directors of public instruction (DDPIs) as nodal officers for the implementation of school safety guidelines at the district-level. In total, 34 officers have been nominated, one for each education district. They are to ensure strict compliance by all educational institutions in their jurisdiction.

The guidelines will be implemented using a recent amendment, which included a new ‘Section 5A’ in the Karnataka Education Act. It mandates that educational institutions should ensure safety of their students and has provision for penalty. According to the NDMA guidelines, the district-level nodal officers are to interact with local disaster management authorities and prepare a disaster management plan. They have to ensure that all new schools and classrooms being constructed are disaster-resilient and child-friendly.  

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