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Parents bring up safety concerns at Ryan International School’s Greater Noida branch

Parents of Ryan International school in Greater Noida alleged that the school body is flouting CBSE norms and thereby compromising with the safety of their wards.

noida Updated: Sep 14, 2017 11:38 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times
Ryan International School,Gurugram,Gurgaon
In the past one week, post the murder, police and parents have raised objections on the working style of the schools managed by the Ryan group.(HT Photo)

Agitated parents raised security concerns regarding their wards and questioned the management of Ryan International School at Greater Noida in the parent-teacher meeting held on Wednesday evening.

Hundreds of parents were invited for the meet by the school management after they had raised security concerns in the wake of gruesome murder of eight-year-old boy in the toilet of Ryan International School at Bhondsi, Gurgaon. In the past one week, post the murder, police and parents have raised objections on the working style of the schools managed by the Ryan group.

The meeting was held in the school campus where principal Sudha Singh took questions from parents regarding their safety concerns.

Parents alleged that the school body is flouting CBSE norms and thereby compromising with the safety of their wards.

“The buses provided by Ryan School are not in yellow colour as ordered by CBSE and there are no emergency numbers displayed on the bus either. Moreover, drinking water is also not provided by the school,” said Vikram Jethwani, a parent.

The parents also raised issue of lack of teachers inside the school bus in the morning hours when their wards are picked from their houses.

“Often, my kid complains that the bus driver drives rashly. Also, attendance of students inside the bus is not conducted by the school teachers,” said Dr Chandra, another parent.

Principal Singh took cognizance of the issues concerning bus safety and said that the school management will take adequate steps in future. Currently, Ryan International School uses around 35 buses to ferry children which include their own buses and those rented on contract basis.

“All our buses have first aid kits and fire extinguishers along with lady staff to take care of the children. The bus driver’s name and license is also mentioned on the school bus. However, the suggestions put forward by the parents are welcome and we will implement them soon,” said Singh.

Parents also raised concerns regarding police verification of bus drivers, conductors and housekeeping staff. Incidentally, in the Bhondsi school murder case, the prime suspect arrested by the police was the bus conductor.

“How do we know that the bus driver that has come to ferry my child in the morning is not drunk? Is he inspected by the school authorities every morning before he leaves with the bus?” asked Anshu Pandey, a parent.

“How is the verification of the drivers and other non teaching staff carried out in the school? We don’t want any male staff to enter the school premises post 7.15 am when the school officially opens. The housekeeping staff can come to clean the premises and leave before the school opens. We are okay with female helps but not male and we have seen in majority of the cases that it is the male staff who is the perpetrator,” said Neha Sharma, another parent.

The principal said that the police verification process is carried out by a third party contractor done under the supervision of the school management.

“I take care of my staff and I am responsible for their actions. Therefore, police verification process is carried out by the private contractor but it is supervised by me. We inspect the drivers every morning before they leave to ferry the children. Regarding barring entry of male helps in the school premises, it is not possible since we have a huge population of children studying from nursery to class 12,” said Singh.

Parents also wanted improvement in the use of CCTV cameras in the school premises demanding that the cameras must be monitored real time.

“There should be real time/live monitoring of the CCTV cameras and the equipment should be present everywhere in the school,” said Nikhil, a parent.

Other parents also suggested that CCTV cameras must be installed inside the classrooms as well. Singh, however, refused to install CCTV cameras inside the class and said that the school management is planning to increase the number of cameras.

“It is not advisable to put cameras inside the class as teachers are already present over there. Currently, we have 36 CCTV cameras inside the school premises and we will be adding eight more in the next few days,” said Singh.

Parents also suggested regular counselling and training workshops of teachers and non-teaching staff.

“Is there any training provided to the non-teaching staff? They must be counselled thoroughly regarding child sensitivity,” said Manoj Dhamija, a parent.

Another parent suggested regular counselling sessions of students to avoid instances of bullying.

Singh said that the school management will increase the frequency of training workshops for the grade IV employees.

“We have a training session in every six months for the grade IV employees. We also have regular counselling sessions with the teachers and students. But the workshop sessions for grade IV will be increased,” said Singh.

The school management has also decided to constitute a committee of parents which will be represented by five of them.

“We will have one parent representative for nursery to class 1, one for class 2 to 5, one for class 6-9 and one for 10-12,” said Singh.

The school has also decided to let children leave the premises after school hours on the basis of their sections.

“Teachers and staff will hold placards which will mention the section of the children who will be leaving the premises after the school hours. This way, we will be able to avoid commotion,” said Singh.

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 11:38 IST