Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Students in 4,870 Schools Attend Classes in Unsafe Buildings

Students in 4,870 Schools Attend Classes in Unsafe Buildings

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Dec 2018 4:03 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: In an alarming development, students in 4870 plus government schools in Assam have been found attending classes in unsafe buildings.

An assessment of safety features in the structural design of 16,524 government schools in 10 districts of the State conducted by the Assam Sarva Siksha Abhiyan has revealed that 4,870 (29 per cent) school buildings do not conform to the safety norms required to withstand natural calamities such as earthquakes. Such unsafe buildings have even been found in Kamrup Metropolitan district.

The other districts where unsafe school buildings found are Barpeta, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Morigaon, Sivasagar and Tinsukia. These schools did not meet the safety norms prescribed in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan framework.

Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, which has been operational since 2000-2001, is a flagship programme of the Centre for achievement of Universalisation of Elementary Education in a time-bound manner by providing free and compulsory education to children between 6 and 14 years. The Abhiyan is being implemented in partnership with the state governments to cover the entire country.

Majority of the school buildings have become unsafe over the years because of lack of maintenance.”It is a matter of concern since Assam falls under zone five - the highest seismic zone in the country and also faces floods every year,” said a teacher.

According to Rule 6.4.7 of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan’s framework for implementation school buildings should incorporate safety features for resistance against hazards to ensure that children receive education in a safe and secure environment. The rule adds that structural safety features to withstand natural hazards such as earthquakes should be built into the designs of new school buildings and existing school buildings should be retrofitted.

An Education department official said most of the schools not fulfilling the safety norms were old buildings that require repair and renovation. He said the Sarba Siksha Abhijan, Assam, will take necessary technical measures in consultation with experts and state PWD to make these school buildings safe and secure.

There are constraints for providing earthquake resistant structures in every government school, the official said.

“It is not always possible to provide the seismic resistant features in existing old structures as there is no provision for retrofitting. Moreover, because of limitations of space and design posed by the existing old structures, it becomes difficult to maintain the required seismic resistant features to such structures,” the official said.

Next Story