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Schools in Lucknow approach cops for verification of staff

After the brutal murder of an eight-year-old boy in a Gurugram school, educational institutions in Lucknow have started approaching the district police for verification of their support staff, as directed by the education department.

lucknow Updated: Sep 14, 2017 15:59 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Schools,Safety measures,Uttar Pradesh
Parents waiting for their wards outside school.(HT Photo)

After the brutal murder of an eight-year-old boy in a Gurugram school, educational institutions in Lucknow have started approaching the district police for verification of their support staff, as directed by the education department.

“We have collected documents from all our support staff and submitted the same to the police for verification. Safety of students will not be compromised. We are following government directives and guidelines issued from time to time,” said Geetika Kapoor, principal, St Teresa’s College, Ashiana.

Meanwhile, a number of city schools stopped parents from entering the premises to drop and pick their child. They were told not to go up to classrooms and stand at the gate.

In a reality check at Christ Church College, it was found that parents had to stand at the gate when children entered the school campus. A similar practice was put in place in other city schools also. Anxious parents waiting at school gates on Wednesday could be seen discussing ‘safety measures’.

Parents suggested that to prevent recurrence of Gurugram-like incidents, there is a need for child protection services in collaboration with volunteer groups who engage with children in schools regularly. Besides, there should be public awareness on child rights, child vulnerability, and child protection services, they suggested.

“There is a need to set up a special police force comprising men and women to handle children related affairs. The force should also regularly interact with children in schools. Further, there is a need for stringent laws to deal with child abuse – both in schools and at home,” said Himanshu Rai, professor, IIM Lucknow.

Amrita Chakraborty Dass, a parent, opined, “The Gurugram incident has shocked the nation. The school is trying to cover it up and should not be given any such chance. Parents want justice.”

“Every day, thousands of children are abused by adults or other children. But this particular incident is different. First of all, the school is the second safest place for children. When kids are in school, we parents feel that our children are in safe hands. But this incident has proved that children are not safe anywhere,” she added.

Read more: Schools undertake confidence-building measures in Lucknow

LU professor Geetanjali Mishra emphasised on prevention of entry of outsiders, more connect between teachers and students. Physical presence of staff in less frequented or isolated areas could also help, she added.

WHERE TO HAVE CCTV CAMS (as suggested by Gurugram cops)

CRITICAL AREA COVERAGE

Schools must have adequate CCTV coverage. Cameras must cover all critical areas of the premises.

While CCTV at entrance to toilets is essential, it is not permitted to fit CCTVs inside toilets, to ensure that dignity is not compromised.

TILT AND ZOOM CAPABILITY

The cameras must have point, tilt and zoom capability and the recording capacity of the footage should be at least 45 days.

All vehicles entering and leaving the premises should be caught on camera with at least a 50-metre range with a clear image of the vehicle number.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE

CCTV equipment must be maintained regularly and it must be ensured that once installed, the footage is viewed and the equipment used to bring in a strong control.

GPS-EQUIPPED BUSES

School buses must mandatorily have GPS and CCTV cameras.

The issue of cost of equipment has to be settled in consultation with other stakeholders after discussing costs versus merits.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 15:59 IST