Days after the false ceiling of a classroom collapsed at a south Delhi school, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has directed the education department to launch an inquiry.
The incident took place on September 7, when the false ceiling of a classroom collapsed at Bluebells International School. The child rights body had received a complaint from parents, raising safety concerns, following which the order was issued.
“This raises serious concern about the safety and well-being of students. Therefore, the school is directed to file an affidavit on the status and facts of the said incident, and the school’s plan of action to remedy the situation,” DCPCR said in the order.
Asking the school to file a response by September 21, the DCPCR has also asked it to conduct a structural fitness examination of the entire premises. DCPCR has further recommended taking help from a team of qualified engineers, and sought a report by October 15. “Failure to comply with this order shall constraint the commission to initiate proceedings,” added the notice.
Education Officer on Delhi Ceiling Collapse Case
The District Deputy Education officer (southeast) has also been asked to conduct an inquiry, and inform the body on whether the building is structurally sound.
The notice further addresses the issue of parents being harassed by schools over fee hike. The commission and the Directorate of Education (DoE) have intervened on the issue earlier as well, asking schools to refrain from increasing fee.
“Complaints by parents allege that the school has not been complying with both orders, and continues to harass parents and students over fees. Therefore, it is ordered… that the teaching staff and students shall not be involved in such matters,” the notice added.
Principal Suman Kumar said the false ceiling fell in the evening, when there were no students: “It was a very small portion of the ceiling, which fell at 5 pm when the class was empty. It was repaired immediately the next day. ”
On fee hike, Kumar said they have challenged the government order. “The department never gave us a hearing… In fact, when the inspection took place, our accounts were in deficit. Such allegations are only to malign the name of the school,” he alleged.