Safety concerns loom large

Safety concerns  loom large

The Department of Public Instruction had drawn up a slew of measures recently directing all schools in the City to spruce up safety of children on campus. While a deadline has been issued for this, most schools claim that they are  implementing these measures one by one. However, parents aren’t convinced.

They want the school authorities to ensure that the school premises are safe for children and want them to hire staff only after a thorough background check. Arathi, a parent, points out that the schools have hiked the fees for the next academic year. “How do we know that the money is being used to improve the security measures on campus. What took them so long to ensure that the campus is safe?” asks Arathi.

Tina, a student of a school in Hebbal, says that there are not less than 60 children in her class and most of the teachers don’t know the students by their names. “The teachers don’t know the names of all the 60 students and sometimes, we don’t get enough attention,” says Tina.

Her mother Manju feels the schools aren’t taking enough precaution. “Why should the schools wait for such an incident to happen to tighten the safety measures on campus? I take good care of my child and don’t depend only on the schools.”

Ashwini, another parent, says that she’s been very nervous after reading all the horrifying incidents in schools. “I don’t think our children are safe anywhere. I am never at ease until my child returns from school,” she says.
      
Commissioner for Public Instruction,Mohammad Mohsin, explains, "We did issue a few safety guidelines to schools, including a stringent procedure for staff recruitment but not all schools seem to have followed it. But this time, in addition to the fresh proposals, we will chalk out provisions to levy a fine amount or punish school management that flout the rules.” He also informs that regular inspections will be carried out to check if schools have adhered to the rules.

Most schools in the City are slowly following the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Instruction. Arul Raj, Office Superintendent of St John’s High School points out that Global Positioning System (GPS) system has been installed in all the school buses. “We have also bought about 40 cameras which are being installed in important locations on campus. The work of which is almost complete. Going a step further, we have also recruited lady conductors on all the school buses,” informs Arul.

Prithvi, a teacher at Sophia High School, says the school have been taking safety measures even before the guidelines were issued. “In addition to installing cameras at prime locations within the school premises, the school as recently started issuing different coloured badges to parents,” states Prithvi. She adds, “Parents of junior school have a different badge and those from middle and senior schools sport a different colour. Parents can enter campus only after these badges are thoroughly checked by the security guard.”

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