MCD schools not secure, few watchmen on roll

MCD schools not secure, few watchmen on roll

Over 1,700 institutions, but none has CCTV cameras

Municipal schools in the city lack adequate security arrangements as they do not have guards manning their premises during schools hours. There are over 1,700 municipal schools in Delhi, but none of them has CCTV cameras.

These schools are not only flouting safety guidelines that the civic agencies had come up with after the rape of a seven-year-old in Mangolpuri in March, 2013, they are also not complying with the Union Home Ministry’s measures issued after the recent Peshawar attack.

Last year’s rape incident had prompted the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to issue safety guidelines, including deployment of security guards and installation of CCTV cameras at every institution. Other civic agencies had agreed to follow suit, but nothing much has happened so far. A senior official of the education department of the North Corporation said the agency-run schools do not have security guards.

“There’s no guard for safety of children in schools. But we have chowkidars (watchmen) who come after the school hours and man the premises till 7 am,” the official said.
‘Not enough funds’

The official added that the civic body does not have funds to hire guards.
“The AAP government left in a hurry without clearing the budget for such expenses. The city government is yet to clear some Rs 6 crore for recruitment of security guards,” he added.

There are 766 schools and 20 aided institutions under the North Corporation.
Though all the three civic agencies claim to have deployed chowkidars to guard schools, even their strength is not up to the mark.

“We have issued a tender for hiring guards. But we have chowkidars to carry out the duty of security guards. It’s just that chowkidars come when the school timings are over,” said an official with the East Corporation’s education department.

In all, there are 450 chowkidars for over 400 schools, including 200 institutions with nursery classes under the east civic agency. “The chowkidars work in two shifts of 12 hours each,” the official added.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has 520 chowkidars for its 603 schools, including 10 aided institutions and 14 with nursery classes.

Owing to the spurt in rape cases in the city, the municipal corporations had also decided to hire women security guards, but efforts in this direction met little success.

“We couldn’t engage women guards as we received only 32 applications against 158 posts,” said a senior official with the East Corporation’s education department.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation has over three lakh students, but there is only one CCTV camera installed at a school in South Extension Part-1. “There’s a provision of Rs 2 crore for procuring CCTV cameras in the budget for the next financial year,” said an official with the education department.

Even the North Corporation has proposed Rs 3 crore for CCTV cameras in the budget 2015-16. The civic agency has nearly 4.5 lakh children. All corporation schools have classes till primary level – from nursery to class 8.