AAP led Delhi government has issued a circular directing every school to form a “School Safety Committee” and also issued a 117-point “checklist for school safety” on issues including entry of visitors, school toilets and CCTV cameras. The list has been released to ensure safety of students inside the premises and emphasised that the directives mentioned must be met and there is zero tolerance for irregularities. The checklist comes after the brutal death of Pradyumn, the seven-year-old boy who was mysteriously killed in the toilet of Ryan International School, Gurgaon. One of the points in the checklist that was released on November 7 reads, “The school boundary wall is intact and is secured with a fence or grill on top and under CCTV surveillance all the time”. In the circular released by the Directorate of Education (DoE), the authority has mentioned that the duly filled out checklist must be made available to parents who want to see it and they should be informed about it at the time of parent-teacher meetings. DoE has laso directed schools to form a “School Safety Committee” within 15 days of issuing the circular. The circular also guides schools in the procedure to set up committee that will comprise of the Head of the School, four students, four parents from the School Management Committee and Parent-Teacher Association, one senior teacher, one primary teacher and one non-teaching staff. the guideline also read that the Committee must undertake a “Monthly Safety Walk” of the school premises on a fixed day every month in order to ensure compliance of the safety checklist.
The schools were asked to check if all staff entering the school have ID Cards, staff identification is checked at the entrance, and that firewall, filtering and monitoring mechanisms are installed in all computers in the school premises, via the circular. Circular also points to safety measures be taken in toilets that include all toilets for primary classes have women staff for cleaning or maintenance and no male staff is deployed there and that for students of Classes 3 to 5, toilet visits are allowed only in groups of 2 (buddy system)”. There is also mention of empty rooms, secluded or abandoned areas of the school including the terraces which should be under CCTV surveillance and the circular further asks to make sure that empty rooms and terrace areas are always securely locked and all locked rooms are opened and checked every 15 days.
The circular mentioning guideline on staff, asks the schools to ensure that they have processed police verification of all staff and wherever possible, the school committee should entrust a senior staff member should pay a home visit to new support staff for verification. It was stressed that there should be more security guards in each school and added that CCTV cameras should be properly maintained by the government as a majority of them were usually found not functioning.