GUWAHATI, Dec 25 - The State Education Department has issued a strict reminder to all Inspectors of Schools (ISs) and District Elementary Education Officers (DEEOs) to direct the defaulting schools under their jurisdictions to comply with the prescribed criteria for attaining tobacco-free educational institution status.
The reminder was issued by Principal Secretary, Education, PK Borthakur in respect of the earlier order (Memo No. PMS (S) 146/2011/170 dated May 19, 2015) issued by the department to declare all educational institutions in the State tobacco-free by the end of this year.
The reminder clearly mentioned that all ISs and DEEOs are to obtain self-declaration forms from every principal and headmaster containing the following: a sign board reading �No Smoking Area� exists in the schools; no tobacco is consumed within the premises of the school by students, staff and teachers; there is no sale of tobacco inside the premises and within the jurisdiction of 100-yard radius of the school, official sources stated.
The reminder further directed the ISs and DEEOs to obtain the undertaking on the above three points from each of the educational institutions falling under the jurisdiction of the respective ISs and DEEOs and submit a report to the Principal Secretary, Education office, at the earliest.
Most of the educational institutions in Assam have already fulfilled the prescribed criteria towards attaining the tobacco-free status, but many institutions, mostly in the interior parts of the State, are yet to comply with the norms set for them by the Education Department.
The Assam Government also constituted two committees, one at the district level and one at the State level to look after the activities of the educational institutions in respect of achieving the target of the tobacco-free institution.
�In a recent review meeting, we instructed all the heads of the defaulting institutions to submit the self-declaration forms before Christmas. Many of our schools have already submitted the self-declarations. We hope that before the year-end, we will be able to send all the reports to the Principal Secretary�s office,� a senior Education Department official said.