National School Safety Policy may propose two doors for schools

A National School Safety Policy, in its final stage of preparation, may soon propose that each school classroom should have two doors instead of one for faster evacuation and schools must not be granted or renewed recognition if they do not comply with the safety norms for preventing a disaster.

The NDMA has prepared a draft policy for schools across the country which will take forward a pilot project launched earlier in 200 schools of 43 districts each in 22 states.

"The District Education Officer must ensure that 'Recognition Certificate' under sub rule (4) 15 of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2010, is issued only to those schools that comply with safety norms laid out in the Building Codes. This compliance needs to be monitored on a regular basis. All existing as well as new schools need to confirm to safety standards as per the National Building Code, 2005," the draft school safety policy says.

Among the safety measures, the draft policy specifies that classrooms should have two doors for easy evacuation, only non-combustible, fire-proof, heat resistant materials shall be used in school construction and vertical expansion of existing schools shall not be carried out without a fitness certificate for the building from a certified civil /structural engineer.

It adds that school safety efforts need to take cognizance of all kinds of hazards that may affect the well-being of children and emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and ropes need to be procured and maintained regularly by the school authorities.
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