Parents want student safety guidelines by city police made mandatory for Gurgaon schools
Gurgaon DC wants the administration, schools, parents and the society at large to do their bit in implementing safety laws for studentsgurgaon Updated: Sep 16, 2017 21:56 IST
Gurgaon’s deputy commissioner(DC) Vinay Pratap Singh has sent out a clear message that the administration, schools, parents and society at large have to partner in the implementation of all applicable safety laws and be prepared to deal with emergencies.
More than 100 parents attended the meeting along with 250 school teachers across the city. They said proactive steps are being taken to ensure compliance with the norms and also make sure that the school management is held to account in the event of trouble. School managements were also told to obtain fire safety certificates in a month and conduct a safety and security audit, failing which they might even be shut down.
“We will focus on key areas such as safety and security of students on the school premises. A safety audit would be conducted as well. It is mandatory to ensure that a child is safe once a parent has dropped him/her off at school. Schools will have to install CCTV cameras at all vulnerable areas on campus and ensure they are functional at all times,” said Singh.
“Now, we are awaiting a word of assurance on the proposed bodies that will features both parents and students and also the internal risk assessment process in schools. However, we are not too happy with the schools being told follow CBSE guidelines, as they do not cover several areas of concern and are not mandatory for schools not affiliated to the board. The district administration should consider making the highly comprehensive set of guidelines that was issued by the Gurgaon Police in 2014 mandatory for all schools. These are currently considered only as an advisory,” Smriti Chhabra, a parent and a resident of DLF City Phase 2, said.
Parents said that they were happy with the DC’s sincere approach to the issue of student safety and his commitment in ensuring that representatives of all schools attended the meet and briefed him on their compliance with the statutory guidelines. However, they said they were a tad disappointed that there was no word of assurance on making the 2014 guidelines statutory.
Ruchika Sethi Takkar, mother of a differently-abled 15-year-old girl, said, “The school’s staff and parents of specially-abled children are often not aware of the kinds of abuse that might happen at school and hence, it is critically important for schools to follow child safety guidelines.I voiced concern over the CBSE guidelines not being comprehensive enough to address concerns of students with special needs. The staff needs to be sensitised.”
Officials from the women and child development department were also present at the meeting and said they will also visit schools when required and hold awareness programmes on ‘Good Touch and Bad Touch.’
“I am hopeful that schools will strive to ensure compliance with guidelines and build a mechanism to deal with issues concerning student safety. We will launch sensitisation workshops across the city on the prevention of child abuse and will also reach out to private schools to sensitise teachers and staff on understanding child abuse and deal with them. We will also launch a series of workshops to make teachers and school aware of cyber harassment of children,” Nishi Kant, executive director, Shakti Vahini, Childline Gurgaon, said.