HYDERABAD: Safety of lakhs of children studying in government-run day and residential schools in Telangana are at risk as they do not have basic security measures in place for ensuring safety of the children. After the murder of a 7-year-old boy in Ryan International School in Gurugram, one major flaw on part of school management as pointed out by CBSE was the school’s compound wall being breached. In contrast to this, more than half of 28,000 government schools in Telangana do not have compound wall at all.
While Gurugram incident has got people questioning safety of children in schools, it is mostly private and corporate schools that are coming under criticism even though government run schools are more lax towards having security measures.Security guards are unheard of in government schools. Not just in day schools but even in many residential schools, including those which are for girls, security guards are absent. Anyone can walk into government schools without being questioned. When Express visited a girls residential school near Hyderabad on Saturday, the correspondent was not questioned by anyone even inside the school. CCTV cameras were installed in some residential schools recently. The state government hired about 8,000 Vidya Volunteers to teach in schools and police verification was not done to verify if they had any criminal antecedents for ensuring a safe environment.
K Ravi Chander, president of Telangana Residential Institutions Teachers Association, says, “Many residential schools, including those meant for girls, either do not have compound wall at all or the wall are of short height and damaged. Compound wall should be of 12 feet with either iron grill, barbed wire or broken glass on it to avoid anyone from entering the campus. Security guards do not exist. Some schools do not even have a dedicated night watchman. CCTV cameras are yet to be installed in some schools.”
Chava Ravi, general secretary, Telangana State United Teachers’ Front, says, “Funds should be provided to schools by government to make available basic security measures of a sturdy compound wall and a security guard. While in most cases, Vidya Volunteers belong to the same village where the school is located, their police verification must be done to ensure that unscrupulous elements do not become teachers.”
Many residential schools, including those meant for girls, either do not have compound wall at all or the wall are of short height and damaged. Security guards do not exist. Some schools do not even have a dedicated night watchman. CCTV cameras are yet to be installed in some schools
K Ravi Chander, president of Telangana Residential Institutions Teachers Association