The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular outlining strict safety guidlines for schools affiliated to the board. Besides directing schools to install CCTV cameras on the premises, the Board has also asked them to carry out police verification of staff and control entry of outsiders.
The directives come in the wake of increasing safety concerns in schools after the recent murder of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School in Gurugram, and the alleged rape of a five-year-old girl in a Delhi school.
In the circular, CBSE clearly states that “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”.
Here are the CBSE’s guidelines for its schools
1) The schools have to get the security /safety audit done on their premises and personnel from their respective local police station and follow the security related advice. This may be complied and reported online on CBSE website – cbse.nic.in within two months of receipt of this circular.
2) At all the vulnerable points, the school authority has to install CCTV cameras and ensure they are functional at all times.
3) They must get the police verification and psychometric evaluation done for all the staff employed. Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff like bus drivers, conductors, peon and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner.
4) The supporting staff should be employed only from authorised agencies and proper records are maintained.
5) To constitute a parent-teacher-students committee to address the safety needs of the students and to take regular feedback from parents in this regard.
6) The access to school building by outsiders should be controlled and visitors monitored.
7) To provide training and development for staff to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse.
7) The school shall constitute separate committees for redressal of public/staff/parents/students grievances, Internal Complaints committee on sexual harassment and committees under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, 2012 and details of the these committees along with contact details shall be displayed prominently on school notice board and conspicuously on the school website for information of all stakeholders.
On Wednesday, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal asked Deputy Chief Minister and the Education Minister Manish Sisodia to make security measures suggested by police and other stakeholders compulsory for recognition of schools in the city.
The LG also directed the Delhi Police to waive verification charges for private schools in order to incentivise the process.
He had also suggested that the security measures suggested by the police and other stakeholders like DCPCR, CBSE to be considered for inclusion as a set of binding requirements for grant and continuation of recognition of schools under the Delhi School Education Act and Rules.
North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), the mayor said, “All school principals have been directed to ensure that staff members reach 15 minutes before the scheduled opening time and leave the premises 15 minutes after the students have left. Besides, the principal would be responsible for any movement of teachers out of a school during duty hours,” she said.