In the wake of the killing of a child in Ryan International School, Gurgaon, where a 7-year-old boy was brutally murdered, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued an advisory to all its school for the safety of children. The board in its circular said, “As the children are spending most of their time in school, the concern of parents about the safety of school children is increasing every other day regarding their physical safety, mental & emotional health or child abuse owing to increasing incidents involving safety and well-being of school children. The onus for safety and security of children in school campus shall solely lie upon the school authorities. It is a fundamental right of a child to engage and study in an environment where he/she feels safe and is free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment.”
The board has asked all schools to strictly follow 8 points that have been noted by it. The advisory added, “These exhaustive provisions are required to be strictly followed by every school affiliated with CBSE to ensure complete safety of school children in school.” Further, the schools have been asked to immediately take the following measures to enhance safety for the children. The 8 provisions are as below-
(a) Get the security /safety audit done on their premises and personnel from their respective local police station and follow the security related advice for the safety of School children. This may be compiled and reported online on CBSE website www.cbse.nic.in within 2 months of receipt of this circular.
(b) Install CCTV Cameras at all vulnerable areas/point in the School premises and ensure they are functional at all times.
(c) They must get the police verification and psychometric evaluation is done for all the staff employed. Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as, bus drivers, conductors, peon and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner.
(d) Ensure that supporting staff is employed only from authorized agencies and proper records are maintained
(e) To constitute a parent-teacher-students committee to address the safety needs of the students and to take regular feedback from parents in this regard
(f) The access to school building by outsiders should be controlled and visitors monitored
(g) To provide training and development for staff to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse.
(h) The school shall constitute separate committees for redressal of public/staff/parents/students grievances, Internal Complaints committee on sexual harassment and committees under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, 2012 and details of the these committees along with contact details shall be displayed prominently on School Notice Board and conspicuously on the school website for information of all stakeholders.
To ensure that there is no violation of the above-mentioned provisions, the circular said, “It is reiterated, that all schools affiliated with CBSE are hereby directed to strictly adhere to all the guidelines issued by MHRD and Board from time to time. Any violation/lapses with regard to safety and well being of children in school campus would invite appropriate action including the disaffiliation of the school as per the provisions under Affiliation Bye-Laws of the Board.”