Ryan International School murder case has shaken the country even as questions have raised over the safety of the students in schools. On September 8, a bus conductor was arrested for allegedly killing a seven-year-old inside the washroom of the Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch in Gurugram. The incident has also raised question about transport services of the schools which are responsible for ferrying students. It has been learnt that conductors without licenses, lackadaisical background checks and ill-equipped buses are some of the worrying factors, Indian Express reported.
The guidelines supposed to be followed are- 1997 Supreme Court guidelines on child safety in school premises. Guidelines for school transport issued by the Directorate of Education. Guidelines for transport facilities in schools notified by CBSE.
There are a few rules for buses also. Buses owned or hired by schools should have a board, measuring 400 mm x 400 mm, secured firmly on the front and rear’. The board should be golden yellow and should have an iconographic representation of two school children — a girl and a boy — in black. Below it, the words ‘school bus’ should be written in black in a particular size. The bus should be fitted with doors that can be closed; these should remain closed when the vehicle is moving. The driver should not have been challaned more than twice in a calendar year or violated Rule 111, which requires driving within the bus lane/track, restricting overtaking and jumping red lights, and following parking regulations. GPS and CCTV arrangement should be made compulsory in each school bus. But according to reports, hardly a few buses follow these guidelines.
Aftermath of the Ryan murder case, Delhi government had decided to rope in retired IPS officers to help it address the issue of students’ safety in schools. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had a meeting on September 15 with members of retired IPS officers association during which the issue was discussed. The decision comes against the backdrop of increased concerns about student safety in schools following the killing of a seven-year-old student in a Gurgaon school and rape of a five-year-old girl by a school peon in Delhi. “If retired IPS officers volunteer to come forward for security and safety of students, it will be a great help. We can also run an orientation programme for the teachers in this regard,” Sisodia, who holds the Education portfolio, said. “We can also constitute a ‘neighbourhood watch team’ where retired officers can visit nearby schools and recommend measures to ensure safety of students on their premises,” he added.