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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Ryan fallout: Move to file case against 135 pvt schools in Gurgaon gets mixed reaction

Schools say police verification of non-teaching staff takes time; parents want administration to be more responsive and share the burden of beefing up security in schools

gurgaon Updated: Oct 27, 2017 22:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
On Thursday, the acting district education officer told the city police to file cases against 135 schools that have failed to submit security certificates. There are 358 private schools in Gurgaon.
On Thursday, the acting district education officer told the city police to file cases against 135 schools that have failed to submit security certificates. There are 358 private schools in Gurgaon. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File )

The recent decision of the district administration to file cases against 135 private schools that failed to implement its order to submit security certificates within 15 days has gained mixed reaction from parents and schools.

The directive to ensure children’s security in schools came after the body of an eight-year-old student was found inside Ryan International School in Bhondsi on September 8.

Parents said the district administration must not absolve itself of all responsibility by placing the onus on schools, while educational institutions defended themselves saying that getting certificates from government agencies was taking time.

On Thursday, the acting district education officer (DEO) wrote to the city police directing it to file cases, under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), against 135 schools that have failed to comply with the deputy commissioner’s order. Among such schools is Ryan International school, Sector 40. There are 358 private schools in Gurgaon.

In his letter to the Gurgaon deputy commissioner of police (headquarter), acting DEO Ram Kumar wrote, “On September 26, the Gurgaon district administration had directed all schools to submit safety certificates within 15 days to ensure students’ safety. But many private schools have failed to comply. Thus, action should be taken against them.”

The police have said they will work as directed by the district administration. “We will take required action,” DCP (headquarter) Deepak Gahlawat said.

Parents, however, were of the opinion that placing all responsibility on schools is not the solution and said collective effort should be made by the school management and the district administration.

“Schools should be held accountable for the safety of its students, but the district administration should also help. Taking action against schools is not going to solve anything,” said parent Sangeeta Agarwal, whose daughter studies in Shikshantar in South City-1.

Another parent Jitesh Sahgal said, “This (introducing safety norms) is a welcome move but implementation is required. Schools need to be geared up to provide security.”

Parents also said the administration’s move to introduce safety norms is belated.

“We have been suffering as the administration also turned a blind eye towards the problems associated with private schools. This step should have been taken much earlier,” said Vikash Chaudhary, a parent whose son studies in Blue Bells School, Sector 4.

Representative of schools’ association said they are following the deputy commissioner’s orders but the process of getting a police verification and other government documents is taking time.

“Schools are trying to get all the necessary certificates as per the order. However, we are facing problems with getting police verification done of the non-teaching staff. Things cannot happen overnight. Schools should be given more time,” said Colonel (retired) Pratap Singh, the president of Haryana Progressive School Conference that represents CBSE and ICSE schools in the state.

Requirements for security certificate

Safety committee in all schools with two parent representatives, each.

Schools were asked to produce a valid fire safety certificate.

Separate toilets for non-teaching staff; female attendants should be deployed at toilets to help small children.

Ramps and special toilets to be built for children with special needs in all schools.

CCTV cameras must be installed at all crucial points in school premises.

CCTV cameras with GPS tracking in school buses and female attendants must be deployed in all buses.

Police verification of non-teaching staff should be done within 15 days.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 22:15 IST