ibnlive » India

Apr 26, 2009 at 02:18pm IST

Delhi govt to set medical norms for schools

New Delhi: Spurred on by the Akkriti Bhatia case - where 17-year-old student of Modern School died in school premises of an asthma attack - the Delhi government has decided to standardise medical facilities across private and government schools in the Capital.

But even as the debate continues on whether Modern School could have done more to save the Akkriti, are schools equipped to handle medical emergencies at the moment?

Most medical rooms in schools are equipped to handle scratches, bruises and mild fever. But when there is a medical emergency on campus, most schools have only basic medical facilities. But if first-aid doesn't help, they need to seek professional help outside.

"The parent too needs to be careful, they too need to act promptly. First aid means first aid. Schools are not equipped to handle very serious medical situations," said principal, Tagore International School, Suman Nath.

Even as Akkriti's parents accuse her school of medical negligence, government rules across the country are shockingly silent on the role of schools during medical emergencies.

"There are no specifications in the act, there has been a lapse but we need to look at it rationally. We need to train students and teachers together," said Education Secretary, Delhi, Rina Ray.

The diagnosis is clear, standardise medical care norms across schools. The centre too has swung into action - schools, whether private or government, will now have to maintain a log of the child's medical history.

Apart from that, there is also talk within the education department of revisiting a shelved pilot project of getting qualified doctors on school pay-rolls.

"Four of five schools need to be attached to a hospital in the vicinity," said Minister for Women and Child Development, Renuka Choudhary.

While a blame game may not help, a parent-teacher partnership will go a long way in providing that healing touch to students.