The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a notice to all affiliated schools this week setting guidelines to ensure the safety of a child on school premises. A day later, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal ordered the Delhi government to adopt security measures and mandatory standards for schools. He also called on Delhi police to drop verification charges so schools are encouraged to make basic checks on their staff. The problem is that these movements were precipitated by the murder of a seven-year-old student at a private school in Gurgaon and the rape of another child at a school in Gandhinagar Delhi. These reactionary responses appear to be the standard mode of operation in most cases.
Priyank Kanoongo, a member of the TEN and Education of the National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR), said that the incidents were not endemic to a given region but indicated a “national crisis”. A student was found murdered in Ranchi. A student drowned in a swimming pool in Bhopal. Such incidents occur everywhere, in urban and rural schools. But there is more in private schools because there is a lack of vigilance, “said Kanoongo. One of the main reasons for this, he said, is the lack of parental involvement in private schools, which impacts responsibility. According to the TEN, the formation of a school management committee (SMC) is compulsory for public schools, but private schools are exempt.
This means that about 73% of schools in India have MSC, while others do not. And most schools that do not have MSCs are private schools, “he said.” But as a result of recent incidents, many schools involve parents on committees set up to improve safety. ” We have repeatedly suggested parents’ suggestions about safety but later, parents are still anxious, so we decided to include some parents in our safety committee. Many have agreed to visit the school regularly to ensure that safety is in place and we have agreed to reach a conclusion about it, “said Rohan Bhat, director of the Malad Children’s Academy in Mumbai.
The CBSE guidelines have forced schools to restrict access to their buildings and supervise visitors. Ludhiana schools, such as BCM Arya High School and the local branch of Ryan International School, have begun issuing ID cards to parents. do not let our students leave unless it is with a person who has a valid parental identity card or with people who have been authorized by the parents, “said SK Bhattacharya, secretary of Bal Bharati Public School in Delhi and chair of the School Action.
One of the guidelines and suggestions of most law enforcement agencies is staff verification to verify criminal records. Police sources said the suspect in the student murder of the Gurgaon branch of Ryan International School was hired without verification. Investigations suggest that the suspect, Ashok Kumar, was dismissed from his previous job at a private school in his village of Ghamroj because of suspicious behavior.
Fixation of surveillance
The CBSE guidelines include the direction to ensure that vulnerable and isolated parts of a school are constantly monitored by CCTV cameras, but officials believe it is easier said than done. “At the Bal Bharti Public School in Pitampura, we have 300 cameras of this type in every corner of the school, but how many schools will be able to pay for it?” Bhattacharya.CCTV said by itself may not be enough, as cases of abuse, such as Ryan’s murder, are carried out in areas that are in blind surveillance places, such as the toilet. Parents in many schools have sought help from children’s health facilities.
In addition to campus safety, concerns also concern when children are on school buses. Some of the suggestions in this regard include hiring a woman who will be in a school vehicle at all times. However, the additional expense of an additional employee could be a deterrent. The school, like Bal Bharti, found a way out. “We’re really looking to get female directors, so we can do it with a staff rather than both,” Bhattacharya said.
While these measures are intended to provide immediate relief, a major review of policies and day-to-day practices may be necessary to ensure the long-term safety of students. “One of the first things is to involve more parents in school, and leaders must also be empowered to manage because they are generally more sensitive to problems.” Teachers are the best way to reach out to students, and they need to be properly trained and sensitized, “said Kanoongo of NCPCR.” Monitoring remains crucial. “District education officers must be empowered and have access to private schools as well “he added.