Pune: Post the gruesome murder of a seven-year-old student at Ryan International School, Gurugram, many schools in the city have started revamping the security management systems in their premises. As the news of the incident made headlines around the country, the parents started worrying about their kids. They even started questioning the school authorities on whether the school they are sending their children to is safe enough or not.
Schools install CCTVs, deploy guards
Speaking about the security management at her school, Sangeeta Kapoor of The Orchid School, Baner said, “We have CCTV cameras all around the school, in closed and open areas on all the floors. Also, security persons with adequate background check are deployed around the premises, and nobody is allowed to enter the gate without an ID card or a gate pass. After the Gurugram incident, our parents were concerned about the safety of their children, so we invited parent volunteers from each of our classes to take a round of the school building and premises to check the security system. I am glad to mention that they were satisfied with the school’s approach.”
Anjali Gurjar, Principal of Pawar Public School, Nanded City, said that awareness workshops were created for everybody in the school.
“We never recruit any staff members without conducting a thorough background check. After the incident, we conducted workshops for all our teaching, non-teaching, housekeeping staff on how could they play a role in avoiding any such incident in the school by keeping a close vigil. Also, the students were guided in separate sessions according to their age-groups in how they can be safe, and help prevent such cases,” Gurjar said.
She also spoke about the issue of corporal punishment saying that to ensure the safety of children, they make it clear to the teachers at the time of recruitment saying that if any such complaint comes against the teachers, the benefit of doubt would go to the students and the teachers would be expelled immediately.
Principal of Wisdom World School, J Simoes said they recently conducted a parent-teacher meeting in which it was decided that PTA executive committee members would volunteer to send a parent representative to visit the school once a week on a rotational basis in order to ensure implementation of the safety measures in the school. The parents will also be inspecting traffic management at the school gates in the morning and afternoon.
Apart from these, many other reputed private schools in the city have claimed to have taken measures like employing more lady attendants, installing more CCTV cameras, locking down the unattended gates on the campus, banning even parents from entering certain school buildings as a reaction to parents expressing concerns after the Gurugram incident.
The condition at PMC-run schools
A senior officer from the PMC Shikshan Mandal said that a series of workshops are being planned for the principals and teachers at PMC schools to sensitise them on the safety of their students. “We have conducted such workshops in past, however, taking a cue from the recent incidents, we will be starting these again beginning from the coming Monday. We will be calling PMC school principals and teachers to the office in batches to guide them on how to ensure that their students are safe at school,” he said.
Speaking about the infrastructural security measures at these schools, he added, “All the schools have closed premises with proper compound walls and security guards on duty full-time. However, not all the schools have CCTV cameras yet. Also, all the schools haven’t yet issued ID cards to their students and staff, but we are working to get these facilities at all the PMC schools soon.”
Police appeal to schools to take responsibility
In a recent interaction with the school principals and teachers, Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla guided the school representatives on how to ensure that their students remain safe in the school premises. She also appealed to them not to depend totally on the police and take initiatives themselves to keep the children safe.