Ryan International murder: Lapses in background check, surveillance surface in Panchkula schools
Parents panic: Despite SC and HC guidelines, many schools fail to get mandatory police clearance for Class IV employees; officials blame sluggish pace of police verification process and ambiguity in security regulationsUpdated: Sep 12, 2017 15:20 IST
The murder of a seven-year-old boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan International School has resulted in panic in local schools with worried parents swarming with queries over their wards’ safety inside school premises. Many are, however, finding it tough to satisfy parents.
Reason: as checked, schools obtain identity proofs while hiring domestic help, peons, security guards, bus drivers and other ministerial staff, but their background check does not happen as desired.
“There is a need to streamline the system through a single window where police can respond to us within a time limit so that schools are satisfied about the staff they are hiring.”
This, despite specific guidelines issued by Supreme Court and Punjab and Haryana high court making police clearance mandatory for schools.Paramjit Singh Badola, member, Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said schools are not serious about the safety of its students. He added that the education department was to be blamed for not bringing such lapses under the scanner. “Until government agencies don’t regularly fine school buses and inspect premises, things will not improve,” said Badola.
Jivtesh Garg, spokesperson of Panchkula private school association, blamed sluggish police verification for a lack of background check. He said there were instances in which a report was delayed by months.
“There is a need to streamline the system through a single window where police can respond to us within a time limit so that schools are satisfied about the staff they are hiring. Police verification needs to be fast tracked,” he added.
‘VAGUE’ DIRECTIONS ON CCTV CAMERAS
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the authorities have made it mandatory for schools to install CCTV cameras on campuses. But even something as basic as surveillance is not streamlined due to difference in policies among schools. Some have installed cameras in classrooms, corridors, and entry/exit points. But, there are other schools where surveillance guidelines are not strictly followed.
“Vibhu Bhatnagar, director, Blue Bird School, Sector 16, said, “We will be happy if there are specific details from the education department about locations within the school buildings which should be mandatorily covered in order to have uniformity among institutions.”
DEO TO HOLD MEETING WITH SCHOOLS
District eudcation officer (DEO), Panchkula, HS Saini said he will call a meeting with all private schools within a day or two to have a detailed discussion on stepping up the precautions in wake of the Gurgaon incident. “Our office will give full support to overcome practical issues, but schools need to buckle up and make sure that there are enough deterrents in place to avoid such incidents,” he added.
First Published: Sep 12, 2017 15:04 IST