After private schools failed to comply with guidelines under the Safe School Vahan scheme, officials of Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights have been visiting various districts and providing training and counselling to members of management bodies of schools, employees and bus drivers about the policy.
Officials of the child rights body are of the view that it is important to hold counselling sessions with the schools to sensitise them about the necessity of following the policy for security of students.
On Tuesday, the officials visited Jalandhar, checked school buses and organised detailed counselling sessions with school managements, principals, bus drivers and conductors on the policy.
The officials visited as many as six schools and checked if they were complying with the policy. They inspected the buses of Mayor World Public School, Delhi Public School, Cambridge International School for Girls, Apeejay School, MGN School, and DIPS School.
Deputy director of Punjab State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rajwinder Singh Gill, was accompanied by deputy director of secondary education Amrik Kumar Shukla and Sukhjeet Singh Virk, inspector of traffic police, SAS Nagar.
Members of the district-level committee formed by the district administration to check school buses under the scheme also visited the schools and they were also sensitised during the counselling sessions.
A few days ago, the child rights body had put on hold the inspections being conducted by the district-level committees and planned to hold counselling sessions.
Gill said it was important to provide training to members of district-level committees about the implementation of the scheme.
The team checked necessary compliance to safety measures like expiry date of fire extinguisher, driving license of bus driver, experience of bus driver, women attendant in bus, availability of emergency door in bus and other important parameters under the scheme.
Gill explained the policy in detail to school principals and said all guidelines were for the betterment of the students and their security. He gave a period of 15 days to every school to follow the norms.
The schools were given the pro forma seeking details regarding registration number, type and model of vehicle, installation of flashing light/buzzer working at the time of boarding and deboarding of bus, seating capacity, speed governor, CCTV cameras, and type of door of bus, availability of lock on doors, emergency exit and first-aid box.
“Only filling of the pro forma will not be enough but it is important to let the schools know that it is mandatory to comply with the policy and not merely pay a lip service,” he said.
During the checking, Gill found that none of the schools were following the norms under the policy. He added that he was hopeful that the counselling session would prove fruitful.
He said, “If the schools do not comply with the policy even now, we will send their names to the high court.”