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MHRD, CBSE issue guidelines to ensure students’ safety

Ludhiana: The ministry of human resource development, Government of India has issued a comprehensive set of guidelines specifying preventive mechanisms and procedures for an institutionalised system ensuring the safety and security of school students. CBSE instructed schools to make sure teachers and school staff thouroughly understand the rules protecting safety, security and interests of students and device ways to take immediate remedial and punitive action against acts violating students' right to safety. The board urged members of the school staff to recognise their own responsibility to protect students and ensure their safety and well being. The Board has, from time to time, issued instructions on safety measures to be implemented to ensure the safety and security of students at school and during the transit back home. These exhaustive provisions are required to be followed by every school strictly. "The onus for the safety and security of children on the school campus will solely lie upon school authorities. It is a fundamental right of a child to engage and study in an environment where he or she feels safe and is free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment," said Jaiprakash Chaturvedi, deputy secretary, CBSE. Principals, teachers and parents of school students welcome the move. Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar said, "This is good for everyone. We have revised our own system and are being more particular. We are also installing more cameras and are conducting police verification of everyone concerned." Principal of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar said in view of the safety of children, a maid is deputed outside every toilet during the recess. Bhagwant Singh, parent of a five-year-old said, "Today, especially when both parents are working, it's important to slow things down a bit and make sure you communicate with your child regularly about what's happening in his or her life, especially about the minute school routine besides studies." Kamini Sharma, mother of an eight-year-old said, "Most parents don't raise their voice against such things, as they don't want their child singled out and harassed by the school. However, it should be clear by now that ignoring issues is never a solution and can even cost a child his or her life." Swaran Singh, member of Ludhiana School Parent Association said, "I know there is a lot of pressure and expectation from a school but it's the need of the hour to be vigilant. Schools need to be stricter with brules, regulations and verification of employees, which includes even teaching staff. Parents should come forward and raise their voice when they find something they feel concerned about." Prince Khanna, parent of 8-year-old boy studying in Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, said, "Immigrants from other states should not be deployed without police verification in the school premises of the city. There should be a specific exam to crack for these people where they should be tested on moral education." Moreover, police verification is must even for the gardener or peons. Class IV employees should also be counselled like teachers and students." According to the MHRD and CBSE, school authorities are required to take the following measures immediately: — Get the security /safety audit of their premises and personnel done from their respective local police station and follow security related advice for the safety of school children. This may be complied with and reported online on the CBSE website, www.cbse.nic.in within two months of receipt of this circular — Install CCTV cameras at all vulnerable areas and points on the school premises and ensure they are functional at all times — Get police verification and psychometric evaluation of staff employed done. Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors, peon and others has to be done very carefully and thoroughly — Ensure supporting staff is employed only from authorized agencies — Constitute a parent-teacher-student committee to address safety needs of students and take regular feedback from parents in this regard — Limit outsiders' access to the school building and monitor visitors — Provide training and development for staff to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse — The school shall form an Internal Complaints Committee for redressal of public, staff, parents' and students' grievances under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, 2012. Details of the these committees along with contact details shall be displayed prominently on the school notice board and the school website for information of all stakeholders.

Source: Times Of India

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