The State Government has framed guidelines for setting up a school, getting recognition and fire safety equipment. Throwing these guidelines to wind, nearly 4,000 schools are running without obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC), posing a threat to the lives of thousands of children.
Education Department is not supposed to sanction permission for any school, if there was no NOC from A.P. State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department, but due to indifference of officials, the school managements run the institutions flouting all norms.
Fire mishaps occur as the school buildings are not constructed as per National Building Code (NBC) by-laws, poor fire safety precautions and plan, lack of knowledge among the staff and students on fire extinguishing and rescuing measures, use of inflammable material in construction and planning kitchens close to the classrooms.
According to District Education Officer D. Devananda Reddy, there are about 1,800 Primary Schools, 450 Upper Primary, 440 High Schools, 1,200 Private and 150 Unrecognised Schools in Krishna District and they were asked to follow the norms, but majority of them violate the rules.
Krishna District Fire Officer (DFO) V. Srinivas said that for schools positioned on ground first and second floors, fire extinguishers were enough. Beyond second floor, the management should arrange full-fledged fire fighting equipment and the Fire Department issues NOC after thorough verification.
“Last year 122 schools obtained NOC from A.P. State Disaster Response and Fire Services authorities. The Fire personnel inspected many schools and asked them to provide fire safety equipment. This year, only 35 schools took NOC, out of 4,000 plus schools”, said Mr. Srinivas.