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Children’s safety in Chandigarh: Missionary schools put onus on parents

Say parents should check, be satisfied with safety measures, and they can’t object later

punjab Updated: Dec 04, 2017 13:47 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Missionary schools,St John’s High School
(HT Representative)

The city’s four missionary schools have warned the parents that they can’t object to the safety measures in place in the institutes once their children get admission.

With the rise in crimes against children, including a seven-year-old’s murder at a Gurgaon school, parents have been demanding better safety measures.

The issue is one of the major concerns as admissions to the entry-level classes in St John’s High School, Sector 26; Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26; St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32; and Carmel Convent School, Sector 9, along with other private schools in the city began last week.

“Parents are requested to please go through the safety and security measures and apply only after they are satisfied with the measures in place. No objection to the measures will be entertained once a child has been admitted into the school,” reads the admission policy put up on the website of the four missionary schools.

The last line in effect debars the parents from objecting to any commission or omission in terms of safety measures after the admission process is completed.

‘Can’t give up responsibility’

Nitin Goyal, president, Chandigarh Parents Association (CPA), said the schools cannot absolve themselves from the responsibility of keeping the children safe by just writing a clause.

“If a parent finds anything wrong with the safety measures, they will surely object,” he said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in a circular issued on September 12, stated: “As the children are spending most of their time in school, the concern of parents about their safety is increasing. The onus for safety and security of children in school campus shall solely lie upon the school authorities.”

‘Safety norms keep changing’

Harjinder Kaur, chairperson of the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPCR), said the safety norms can change from time to time.

“The schools have to be sensitive about such issues,” she said.

In the past four months, the CCPCR has inspected only one of the four schools — Carmel Convent School (in September) — and found electrical wires hanging out of a transformer. The panel had also asked the school to carry out police verification of its employees immediately.

‘We are being open to parents’

St John’s High School principal Kavita Das said: “We are simply being transparent in what we are offering so that parents can come to us with a clear idea of the facilities we provide.”

Das said at times parents come with different expectations. “We are just being open to them: Here is what we are, we are happy to have you if you are satisfied with it,” she said.

HS Mamik, president of the Indian Schools Association (ISA), said schools are putting up such clauses due to the fear of the administration’s interference in their management.

“Parents choose schools solely according to their wishes,” he said.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 13:43 IST