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Staff must stay in premises of ashram schools at night

Tightening norms for tribal residential schools, Maharashtra government has made it mandatory for all teaching and non-teaching staff to stay within the ashram school premises, in a bid to prevent any unfortunate incidents.

The government directive comes in the backdrop of an alleged rape of a minor in a tribal residential school in Buldhana last month.

At present, there are 546 aided and 529 government-run ashram schools under the Tribal Development Department. There are 2.53 lakh students in aided ashram schools and 1.93 lakh students studying in government-run ashram schools.

The state government’s directive will be applicable to aided ashram schools, junior colleges with hostel facility, ashram schools for scheduled tribe and scheduled caste, such schools for handicap and special students as well as government-run ashram schools, an official from the social justice department said.

“There are students residing in these schools at night. In case of an unfortunate incident or any natural calamity, these students will require immediate help. It is thus binding on all teaching and non-teaching staff to stay in the premises of ashram schools,” a Government Resolution issued by the social justice department stated.

It further said that the Joint Commissioner, district social welfare officer, Zilla Parishad should periodically keep a watch on tribal residential schools.

“If staff is not found in the school premises, strict action will be taken against the erring members,” the GR stated.

Recently, a state-run residential school for tribals in Maharashtra was found to have 50 “bogus” students on its roll amid the government’s move to tighten norms for providing grant to such institutes and also their overall administration.

The alleged rape of a minor girl at a government-aided tribal school in Buldhana district early last month led the government to order an inquiry into the living conditions of students in all the 1,075 such institutes in the state.

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