14-member panel to monitor kids' safety in schools

The State government has constituted a 14-member committee of officials headed by the additional chief secretary to monitor the implementation of the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Instruction and Bangalore police to ensure the safety of children in schools.

According to an official notification issued on Thursday, the panel will have to meet on a regular basis and submit a report on the implementation of the guidelines to the State Cabinet every month.

The high-level committee has members from the Home, Public Instruction, Women and Child Development, Law, Social Welfare departments among others. The Commissioner for Public Instruction has been made the member-secretary.

The constitution of the committee comes in the wake of increasing sexual assaults on girl students and the public outcry over the failure to implement guidelines on safety of children in schools. The committee will also have to take steps and make recommendations to ensure the children’s safety is not compromised, according to the notification.

Recognition certifications

The Karnataka Federation of Independent School Managements, an umbrella of school associations, on Friday suggested some measures to the government to safeguard the interest of children.

Some of them include the mandatory display of a school’s recognition and affiliation numbers and certificate in its admission prospectus, publicly announcing the names of schools without valid affiliation from the respective boards and the names of illegally running schools.

The federation has also suggested that a school not be allowed to start if the land is not in the name of the trust or the society, and if leased, the land should be a Civic Amenity site from the BDA or any other recognised body and not from private parties.

The federation also said that like in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, schools from outside the state should not be allowed to be set up in Karnataka. The issue of illegal schools running without authorisation in Bangalore came to the light following a spate of incidents of rape and assaults in such schools in the recent months.

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