Haryana to amend law on students’ safety in schools after Ryan International case
Gurgaon: With a view to strictly implement the rules and regulations related to the safety of students in schools, the Haryana government on Friday decided to amend the law in this regard in the ensuing Assembly session.
The decision was conveyed by state education minister Ram Bilas Sharma at a press conference in Chandigarh. He said the murder case of a seven-year-old boy in the Ryan International School had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the state government had appointed the deputy commissioner, Gurgaon, as the administrator of the school for a period of three months.
Thereafter, the situation would be reviewed and if any loopholes were found, the term of the deputy commissioner as administrator could further be extended, Sharma said.
He said the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government was committed towards ensuring the safety of students and added that there would be no comprise on this. If a school did not comply with the prescribed rules, strict action would be taken against it, the minister said, adding that the government could even take control of such erring institutions.
Additional chief secretary, school education department, K. K. Khandelwal said the government had framed safety regulations for government, private, aided and un-aided schools. He added that safety committees at the school, sub- divisional and district levels would be formed, which would be headed by the heads of the schools, the sub-divisional magistrate and the deputy commissioner respectively. Khandelwal said as per the regulations, students would be provided safe transportation to school with the mandatory presence of a female escort.
“Trained and trusted” staff to be employed as school bus drivers, conductors, escorts and managers, safe pick-up and drop arrangements for the students, smart monitoring through CCTV and GPS, handing over the children only to authorised persons and fire safety, first aid, speed governors and proper visibility inside the vehicles were some of the aspects the regulations dealt with, he added. Khandelwal said the entry and exit record of all the visitors had to be maintained without fail.
“Proper attendance record would have to be maintained, reporting of absentees, compulsory ID cards for the staff and students, special attention to a secured access to accident and abuse prone areas inside the school and extreme caution to prevent a child from drowning, electric shock, fire or injury are some of the measures the regulations prescribe,” he added.
No labourers should be allowed near the students, no construction work should be carried out during the school hours and no adult, except female sweepers, should have access to the toilets used by the students, Khandelwal said. He added that the schools should have a proper surveillance mechanism, including functional CCTV cameras, and the authorities must ensure safe neighbouring premises and no intrusion or “peeping” into the school premises.
Other safety measures included conducting mock drills for any type of hazards, proper sensitisation and training for the children, parents and staff, providing self-defence training, special attention to the children with special needs and no suppression, violation and humiliation, he said.
Khandelwal said the schools should engage counsellors, besides having a dedicated child helpline, adding that the complaints received should be disposed of in a time-bound manner and prompt action should be taken against the wrongdoers. He said in case of non-compliance of these regulations, action would be taken under Rule 189.
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