21st January, 2019

CBSE may soon ask schools to get tobacco-free or face de-affiliation

The Delhi Health department has asked CBSE to ensure that the schools shall have a strict tobacco-free policy. The department has suggested the accreditation and affiliation of the schools that are found in default shall be cancelled.

The health concern in school going children requires an active participation of all stakeholders. The Delhi Health Department has said that if voluntary-compliance doesn’t work, then it ought to be ensured by whatever means possible.

The menace of tobacco and tobacco related products is rising among school-going children.

As per the recent records, about 14.1% Indian students up to the age of 15 are currently consuming tobacco or the related products.

CBSE guidelines

As per the guidelines of CBSE and other educational departments, no tobacco-selling shops and tobacco related products’ shop shall be situated within 100 meter radius of an educational institution. Schools are constantly urged to adopt various provisions of the COTPA and Delhi Prohibition of Smoking and Non-Smoker’s Health protection Act, 1996.

The rule also provides for the requirement of one nodal officer, and a mandatory display of tobacco-free zone board and no smoking signage near and in the school premises.

The contact details of the nodal officer shall be mentioned on these sign boards.

Schools are also required to form a tobacco-free school committee. It is proposed that schools should organize special awareness programs at the last day of every month.