Schools get set to make trips safer
Students and teachers at HVB Academy, Marine Lines, will soon undergo disaster management training to prepare for excursions and picnics. Meant to be fun, educational experiences, several school trips have recently been marred by unfortunate accidents. Mugdha Variyar & Deepti Khera report.mumbai Updated: Apr 02, 2012 01:07 IST
Students and teachers at HVB Academy, Marine Lines, will soon undergo disaster management training to prepare for excursions and picnics. Meant to be fun, educational experiences, several school trips have recently been marred by unfortunate accidents.
On March 14, an accident on a school trip to Panchgani took the life of a Class 9 student. The incident has driven school managements to review their safety standards on such trips. Schools are now adopting several safety measures to avoid such mishaps.
“On a trip, we will assign one monitor to a group of six children, who will be in charge. Although there is not much we can do, we can hope to be more cautious,” said SV Pathak, principal, HVB Academy.
“Before a trip, I will send some teachers to inspect the chosen location. Only after they are convinced that it is safe will I send my students there,” said Seema Buch, principal, Gundecha Academy, Kandivli.
In December 2010, Chaitanya Parsana, then a Class 10 student from a suburban school in Mumbai, went on a two-day trip to Silvassa with his classmates. The bus carrying him and his schoolmates met with an accident in Dudhni as the group was returning to their resort.
“I still remember the accident vividly,” said Parsana. “The bus was travelling through a hilly region, and the driver took a sharp turn, hit some rocks. The bus fell on its side. I was lucky enough to sustain just a sprain, but some of my friends had to get stitches.”
Even as schools take steps towards ensuring safety on trips, parents remain a worried lot. “I do not want to deny my child the opportunity to go on a school trip, but am very anxious now, as any other parent would be,” said Anupama Kamath, mother of a Class 10 student of Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai. “We will feel safer if schools allow a group of parents to accompany the children.”
With more safety measures in place, city schools will continue to have trips and picnics. “Field trips and picnics are a part of growing up. We cannot cancel them, but we need to be more cautious when on a trip,” said Kavita Aggarwal, principal, DG Khetan International School, Malad.