In the wake of the killing of a seven-year-old boy at a private school in Gurgaon, the Haryana government today came up with safety regulations for schools in the state which includes the installation of CCTV cameras, separate toilets for boys, girls and staff, among others. Schools in Haryana will have to install CCTV cameras covering entire premises, constitute safety committees, ensure safe to and fro transportation facility for students and take steps in generating awareness among the students on good touch and bad touch as well as Internet hazards. “These and other safety regulations have been approved for all schools functional in the state,” a spokesman of School Education Department said here today.
The Haryana government had on Friday recommended a CBI probe into the killing of Class 2 student Pradyuman and took over its management for three months. The spokesman said that all schools, whether government or private, would have to mandatorily install CCTV cameras at entry and exit points of the school, in all corridors and staircases, library, areas where buses assemble etc. He said that all schools would have to constitute a District Safety Committee under the chairmanship of deputy commissioner, committee at sub divisional level head by sub divisional magistrate and School Safety Committee under the chairmanship of principal to ensure implementation of the regulations on safety norms and to provide for a standing mechanism to have a supportive supervision of the schooling system.
Besides, on the safety measures on school buses, bus incharge should ensure that all drivers attend a refresher training session every six months. “There should be separate toilets for girls and boys, for teachers, and for support staff. The support staff in particular should not be allowed to use toilets meant for children, even if they are assisting in this section,” he said citing the regulations.
Staff managing toilets should only be female. No male staff should be present on school premises in support roles like toilet cleaners or attendants. “Creating awareness of bullying, other forms of physical or sexual abuse: children from a small age, even as young as two, must be trained to be careful of strangers and never talk to strangers, but most importantly, never go anywhere with a stranger. “Children should also be made aware that it is not only strangers who may cross the line with bad touch, but it is often known persons as well who could do this, after making them promise to keep the secret. They must be encouraged to share this immediately with a trusted adult,” he said.
In a school with girls, the School Counsellor must be a female. Every school shall have a helpline number clearly displayed on notice boards and telephone lists, so that any child could approach this helpline confidentially in case of a problem. ‘Yell, Run and Tell’ – this simple mantra must be taught to every child, the schools have been told.
“It explains what to do if someone touches you or comes close to touch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable or scared,” he said.
Buses should be painted yellow and should have the words ‘School Bus’, name of the school and route number should be displayed prominently. Buses should have working speed governors and should not be driven at a speed of over 30 kmph. Bus drivers should possess a valid driving license with minimum five years’ experience of driving a heavy vehicle. The driver should have no previous record of any traffic offences or challans, the schools have been told. Due action must be taken against any driver or conductor where warranted, which may include removal of the driver from services if it is a case of dangerous driving. At dispersal time, children of classes KG to Class 2 must be accompanied to the school bus in a group by a designated representative.