Child safety in schools has been a major concern for parents given the number of incidents that came under light recently.
Consequent to the brutal murder of an eight-year-old student in Gurugram’s Ryan International School, The Independent English Schools Association (IESA), a body with almost 400 member schools across Maharashtra, has recommended several guidelines to ensure the safety of students at school.
Schools across Pune have also started revamping their security measures. But after all the promises and the sad truth behind the ground reality, are parents satisfied with the measures?
We spoke to Pune’s parents to get their insight on child safety and took their suggestions to tackle the issue.
“My biggest concern is the faculty and the in-house people appointed by the school management,” says Priyanka Dobriyal. “There have been several cases where the person from the school was involved in these incidents. Schools should do a *background check of the peons, security guards and bus drivers they appoint. They should also ensure that the cameras installed are in good working condition; this isn’t the case in many schools,” she added.
*This was highlighted by Pune’s Police Commissioner yesterday when she met with Pune School Principals and Teachers. You can read the report here
Ravish Chavan feels there is need for tracking equipment so that the parents can locate their child. “CCTV cameras are mostly installed in schools but I feel that RFID cards (radio frequency identification) or similar tracking devices should be made available for students. Also the school authority should have a person appointed in every school bus that updates the parents and the school authority with the child’s pickup and drop details.”
On asking whether mobile phones should be allowed in schools so that the child is always connected with their parents, Rigweda Undare said “I think that mobile phones to some extent can be helpful to tackle the issue. Parents can connect with their child and check on their current status from leaving home to reaching school and vice-versa. The child can also inform the parents in case of any mishap. But like every other thing, this can prove problematic as well.”
“I think that some schools are often complacent when it comes to child safety,” says Manisha Vashisht. “Only when an incident happens they wake up, and work on their safety measures and six months later its back to the same scenario . I think the authorities in the education department should conduct surprise inspections in schools and should cancel the license of the schools that do not follow safety norms. Such steps will always keep the school on their toes and make them more accountable,” she adds.
#All views expressed in this column are those of the individual respondents.