CBSE holds schools responsible for student safety, issues new guidelines
New Delhi: The responsibility for the safety and security of children in schools “shall solely lie” with the school authorities, the central board of secondary education (CBSE) has told all its affiliated schools, suggesting they conduct “psychometric” tests and enhanced safety audits of all employees.
CBSE, which has a little over 19,000 schools affiliated to it, made the circular public on Thursday after a seven-year-old boy was killed, allegedly by the conductor of a school bus, at Ryan International School in Gurgaon.
“As the children are spending most of their time in school, the concern of parents about the safety of school children is increasing every other day regarding their physical safety, mental & emotional health or child abuse owing to increasing incidents involving safety and well-being of school children.
“The onus for safety and security of children in school campus shall solely lie upon the school authorities. It is a fundamental right of a child to engage and study in an environment where he/she feels safe and is free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment,” said the circular issued to schools on 12 September.
The letter says schools should try to promote a better understanding among their teachers and staff on the laws protecting the safety, security and interests of children.
It says schools need to take quick “remedial and punitive action” against any violations. The board that functions under the HRD ministry asks schools to get the safety audit of their school buildings and people by local police. The police verification and psychometric test should be done for all teaching and non-teaching staff.
It says verification of non-teaching staff like bus drivers, conductors, peons and other support staff be done in detail. It asks schools to make sure that the close circuit cameras are active all the time.
While asking for strict adherence of the guidelines, CBSE says schools must constitute committees to deal with grievances from all stakeholders, including parents, children and staff.