Crumbling buildings would no longer pose a threat to the lives of lakhs of students in Uttar Pradesh’s primary schools. On the directions of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who recently expressed his concerns over the dilapidated state of school buildings, the basic education department is going to conduct a survey of over one lakh government-run schools in order to ensure the safety of students and ascertain the robustness of the buildings.
“The education department is very serious as far as the safety of the students is concerned. And so we have decided to launch a pan-UP drive to analyse the conditions of the school buildings” said Vijay Kiran Anand, director general, school education. Anand has directed all the Basic Shiksha Adhikaris (BSAs) in the state to carry out the survey in their respective jurisdictions.
Not only this, the education department has also issued a set format to all the BSAs and has directed them to rate the schools as per the criteria given. “Officials have to put the school buildings in four categories–very good, good, bad, or very bad. These ratings would be based on parameters, such as whether a school has an adequate boundary wall, a new building, proper seating arrangements, stairs, ramps, electricity supply, potable water supply, and other things. If a school has all these facilities, it would be bracketed under the ‘very good’ category. Similarly, if a school’s outer boundary wall is broken, the roof is in a dilapidated condition, and things, in general, are not up to the mark, it would fall under the ‘very bad’ category,” a senior official explained.
Other than this, the department has also identified around 13,600 school buildings that are in poor shape. Officials with the education department called the move an outcome of the frequent incidents of school building collapse reported in recent years, in which several students had a narrow escape.
On May 16, three students were injured after a portion of the roof of a primary school in UP’s Hapur district collapsed.
In October 2022, five children aged between 10 and 12 years were hurt after the roof of a girls’ primary school fell down in Aligarh district.
In November 2021, four girls studying in a primary school in UP’s Ballia district were injured after the plaster of a wall fell on them.