Wildlife encounters: DPI to conduct workshop for school heads

Wildlife encounters: DPI to conduct workshop for school heads

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Forest Department will conduct a workshop to educate the heads of schools on the dos and don’ts in case of an encounter with wild animals.

The decision was taken at a meeting between the officials of the two departments in the City on Friday. DPI Commissioner K S Sathyamurthy said the heads of around 50 schools, located mostly on the fringes and forested areas in the City, will initially be called for the one-day workshop. 

Based on the outcome and feedback from the participants, a decision will be taken on whether to conduct more such awareness drives. “We will discuss what needs to be done in terms of short-term as well as long-term measures. These will include measures such as installing more CCTVs, raising the height of compound walls, making gates stronger, educating the school staff and School Development Monitoring Committees. 

“It will be an educative session for schools. We will also try and develop close co-ordination with the forest department and police,” he said. The need for such educative measures does not arise in urban centres, Sathyamurthy said. No representatives of schools were present at the meeting.

Sathyamurthy asked both government and private schools to update their security measures and educate students about animal behaviour. “Private schools are also welcome to the workshop,” he said. 

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru Urban, Dipika Bajpai, said the department was already preparing the workshop and heads of both the departments would participate. 

“Some handy information manual will be prepared and circulated. What signs to look for, how to react when a leopard or an animal is sighted, whom to call and what to do when such a situation arises will form part of the manual’s content,” she said.

Holiday rowThe DPI had faced criticism for declaring holiday for schools following a leopard attack at Vibgyor High School in Kundanahalli and thereby causing panic among residents and schools. “Hereafter, before declaring holiday, we will consult and co-ordinate with other departments and take a decision. It would be more pragmatic and practical to do so,” said DPI Commissioner Sathyamurthy.

Vibgyor to open on MondayVibgyor High school will resume classes on Monday, it said in a statement. Following a leopard attack on February 7, the school had declared holiday.

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