Taking cognizance of the death of a student during the sports tournament in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, the Education Department on Monday issued directions to all schools to ensure safety of students in such events in future.

“All the staff, specially the teachers who accompany the students’ contingent to different sports games venues, have been directed to take utmost care of the students so that such untoward incident does not reoccur,” Amarjeet K Sharma, Director, Higher Education.

Sharma said the directions have been issued to all Deputy Directors of Higher Education and school principals to sensitise the staff on the issue so that such incidents do not reoccur in future.

Further, venue of the zonal or district or state level tournaments should be so selected that it is safe and there is no river, canals etc nearby the venue of the tournament.

In addition, the school principals or head of government schools are directed to depute sufficient number of teachers or officials (at least minimum two and as per norms already notified) with the team so as to take care of each and every student.

And if one of the teacher or official is conducting a match during the tournament, the other one should take care of the students.

The school authorities have been further instructed to depute at least one female teacher with girl students’ contingent and she will be entrusted with the task of looking after the girls, he said.

As per the new guidelines, the female teacher will have to stay with the girls during the tournament and she will wholly responsible for girls’ contingents during stay.

All the teachers accompanying the team will invariably stay with the students or team during the sojourn of the student at the venue of the tournament and will be fully responsible for the safety or well-being of the each and every student or player.

Furthermore, the school administration where the tournaments are being held will also be fully responsible for the safety of all the students who are participating in the tournaments.

Directions have also been issued to involve all the staff members of the school in various type of duties related to the student’s security concerns.

“Every care should be taken so that the type of incident which has recently occurred at Gohar, Mandi does not re-happen anywhere in the state,” he said, adding any lapse in this regard shall be viewed seriously entailing disciplinary action.

It is worthwhile to mention here that 16-year-old Vijay, who was the student of 12th standard, had died on 8 September while he had gone for a swim in a rivulet near school in Gohar in Mandi district.

Vijay was the member of Kho Kho team in the Under- 19 category and had arrived in the school on 5 September to participate in the district level sports tournament.

A resident of Gharvasda village and student of Government Senior Secondary School Chowk under Baldwara sub-division, Vijay was the only child and his father had passed away a few years ago.

Around 750 students along with 152 teachers from 18 zones of Mandi district had come to participate in 9-day long sports tournament.