Ramakanta Biswas

The Odisha government on Saturday directed school authorities to undertake hazard hunt exercise as part of preparatory arrangements for the reopening of Class VIII and XI for the academic year 2021-22.  

“The School Management Committee (SMC) members and teachers/head-teachers will do a hazard haunt exercise to map different potential hazards like hole, open ponds, hanging electric wire, broken wings, unsafe wall/roof, unsafe door/windows etc inside the school campus,” the School and Mass Education (S&ME) Department and Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water (PR&DW) department wrote in a letter to Collectors of all districts.

In the letter, secretaries of S&ME and PR&DW departments said the State government has been pleased to reopen Class-VIII and XI in all categories of schools which were closed since March, 2020 due to pandemic situation arising out of COVID-19. 

The school authorities have been asked to convene a meeting of all school staff and School Management Committee (SMC) and PRI members to discuss regarding the necessary preparatory arrangements for reopening of schools. 

The hazard hunt exercise will be carried out inside the school campus including classroom, varandah, toilet, drinking water facility/ overhead tank, library, laboratory, computer room etc. 

“The headmaster of the school would take the help of Parent Teacher Association (PTA) & Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members where SMC does not exist,” the letter stated. 

“After the completion of the exercise, SMC/PTA and headmaster/ teacher will take steps to resolve the issues,” the letter added. 

All block Education Officers (BEOs), BRCC & CRCC under the guidance of DEO & DPC have been asked to monitor the implementation of the hazard hunt exercise strictly and report to State project Director, OSEPA on daily basis through State level Covid Cell (S&ME Dept) and Command & Control Centre online/tracker. 

“The SMC/Headmaster may take the support of PRI members, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for resolving the issues. The SMC/headmaster of government-managed schools may use composite school grant and School Safety Grant available under Samagra Shiksha for implementing the above activities,” the departments stated.  

“In case of the requirement of more funds for cleaning/maintaining of the school campus or repairing cracked roof/ wall of classrooms, assistance of PRI may be taken by the SMC/headmaster of the school,” the departments added.