NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has sent out reminders to its affiliate schools across the country to send reports on security provisions made for students on campus on urgent basis.
Following the sensational murder of seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur in Ryan International School in Gurugram in September, the CBSE had sent out a circular to all schools to follow the guidelines issued for ensuring the safety of children and send compliance reports.
However, out of about 17,200 schools affiliated with the Board, only about 35 per cent had complied by November 10.
“Some of the safety guidelines include installing CCTV cameras at vulnerable points in schools, installing GPS trackers in the schoolbuses and prohibiting entry of unauthorised persons on the premises,” a senior CBSE official said.
“We have received reports that there are a number of schools that do not follow several basic rules and so we wanted the latest status of security arrangements in school campuses,” the official added.
The circular also mandated all CBSE schools to get security audits done by the local police station, get police verification of teaching and non-teaching staff done and constitute parent-teacher-student committees to address the safety requirements of students. Schools are also required to establish and maintain grievance redressal cells to address the concerns of parents and their wards.
“Since the circular did not yield the desired results, we have now sent out strong reminders to schools seeking the reports urgently,” the official said.
An official in the school education and the literacy department of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development conceded that while there had been a rise in violence and sexual abuse cases in schools across the country, data on cases of violence against children or criminal neglect in schools was not collated separately.
“In some states, the education department, on its part, maintains a separate file on each school, which includes complaints and action taken, but there is no cumulative state-wise record that can give us a comprehensive picture,” he said.
In the absence of collated data and with the low reporting or cover-up of incidents of violence in schools, there has been little understanding of how secure children feel even inside the school premises, he pointed out.
“The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has now been tasked with conducting the first-ever survey on safety and security in schools,” the official added. The audit is currently underway in about 50,000 state-run and private schools across the country.
Teachers and students have also been roped in to cover different aspects of safety, including secure infrastructure, prevention of sexual abuse and social discrimination. “This survey is likely to serve as a baseline test,” the source added. “We hope to get study results from at least some states by December.”