Uttar Pradesh: No guards or boundary walls in government schools
Ironically, despite so much rethinking about students’ safety, there is almost none in thousands of government primary and upper primary schools across Uttar Pradesh.lucknow Updated: Sep 16, 2017 14:36 IST
The recent murder of an 8-year-old boy in a Gurugram school has forced parents to take a second look at the buildings where their children study . And all those who never gave school security a thought are doing so now.
Ironically, despite so much rethinking about students’ safety , there is almost none in thousands of government primary and upper primary schools across the state.
Anybody can walk inside and harm students as there is no one to check. There are only a few teachers who run the school and look after it. But for want of a security guard, they are helpless. HT did a reality check at a primary school in Nirala Nagar area and found no guard at the gate.
“Anybody can enter the school unhindered,” said a school teacher, requesting anonymity. “Local residents often turn the school into a garbage dump. The authorities must give us funds or provide a security guard as a number of girls come to our school.”
Parents too are concerned about their wards’ safety. “We cannot afford to send our children to study in a private school because of hefty fees. Government school is the only option for poor people. But we are worried about our children’s safety. Hopefully the state government machinery will do something for safety of children in schools,” said Sarita whose daughter goes to a government school.
MANY SCHOOLS DO NOT HAVE A BOUNDARY WALL
Absence of boundary wall in schools poses a serious threat to students. As per rules, every school should have a boundary wall or a proper green fencing to protect the children and school property and prevent unauthorised access on the campus.
Of the nearly 1.60 lakh primary and upper primary schools in the state, more than 55,000 schools do not have boundary walls. In April 2016, construction of boundary wall in 35,417 schools was proposed but it is in limbo.
In Lucknow too, a number of primary and upper primary schools do not have boundary walls or dilapidated ones. The worn out classroom doors need urgent repair or replacement.
Locals near a primary school in Sarojini Nagar in Gehru block said, “For years the government schools in the vicinity have not had boundary walls. Forget about security guard, they do not have adequate number of teachers to take classes. Many a time in the absence of teachers, students can be seen taking classes.”
Director, basic education, Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh said, “We have not issued any advisory yet. But it will come soon as safety of the students cannot be compromised with. We are working on it and guidelines will be issued soon.”
MEASURES SUGGESTED BY GURUGRAM POLICE
Vigilance Officer: His role will be essential, with the specific purpose of maintaining an overall vigil over children in the school and ensuring that dangers and risks to students are minimised.
Health officer: The school shall have a designated health officer who will ensure basic screening of staff for medical ailments/infections at their time of joining by ensuring basic medical check is carried out.
Canteen Officer: The school shall have a designated canteen officer who will ensure basic hygiene and cleanliness of any food or liquid items served, as well as of the premises, counters, utensils, crockery etc.
Safety officer: The school shall have a designated safety officer whose specific responsibility will be to ensure that there is minimum risk to child safety on account of physical hazards.