School Education Department mandates permission for picnics to prevent tragic incidents

SRINAGAR — In the backdrop of recent episodes of drowning and deaths of children at various picnic spots, the School Education Department on Tuesday ordered all private and government schools to seek proper permission from the district administration for the picnics.

According to the news agency KNO, Central and North of School Education Department said this in a communique to all Chief Education Officers of districts Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora.

“The recent episodes of drowning and deaths of children in different rivers, Nallahs and streams in picnic spots of Kashmir have given sleepless nights to parents, children and teachers who have approached us for intervention in the matter,” the Joint Director said.

The officer said that in order to handle this significant and sensitive issue pertaining to the student community and parents, there was an immediate need for attention, consideration and disposal as well as redressal of these grievances on top priority as it involves the safety, security and well-being of tender boys and girls studying in government as well as private schools of various districts of Kashmir Division.

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It also said that a new trend of summer camps has begun and in its backdrop, many reports have come to the fore ‘where students have drowned or got hurt, or indulge in eve teasing, molestation, theft and other crimes during these camps.’

“The matter needs to be looked upon seriously and a proper modus operandi should be adopted on these Summer Camps up to 8th or 10th class at least; besides, other matters of overcharging the parents should be looked into,” it reads.

The Joint Director said that on this behalf, all the CEOs and ZEOs concerned are requested to be extra vigilant. “They need to walk an extra mile to check the violations and nab the guilty involved in such illegal practices and sensitize the Head of the Institutions and Headmasters of private as well as government schools to maintain high standards of professionalism in their respective schools,” it reads.

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According to the official communique, the concerned school authorities have been asked to desist from organizing picnics, excursions, outings and the outstation campus of school children without seeking proper permission from the CEOs and ZEOs concerned.

“In no case children below 18 years of age be forced to go for a picnic or get the consent of the parents after putting undue influence on such innocent children,” the official said.

It also said that the Heads of the Institutions and schools shall also designate 5 to 10 staff members as nodal officers or supervisors to safeguard the students and monitor their to and fro movement from school premises to picnic spots and back to their homes.

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