Can schools be trusted with your little ones?

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Yes, found a sample survey of parents, teachers and principals by North BangalorePost.

The murder of a student in a Delhi school and the allegations of molestation and sexual misconduct nearer home in north Bangalore have shaken the confidence of parents who send their children to expensive private schools.

“From the time I say goodbye to my daughter when she boards the school bus to the time she comes back home, as many parents are aware, the vulnerable tiny tots are in different hands – from the bus driver to attendant to security guard to teachers and other staff members. The whole trust factor is gone. It is scary to turn on news channels nowadays as this seems to be the only subject making news,” says a concerned parent.

While North BangalorePost does not want to cast aspersions on any educational institution or the way parents bring up their wards, the issue of personal safety and physical well-being of both boys and girls has become a major challenge.

The Bangalore police, having already handled dozens of such cases, have been sending out do’s and don’ts to school managements along with education department circulars, but depending on police to check whether these guidelines are being followed is not practical. “It is a burden on the police as well they are an unwelcome sight in schools,” says a school principal who prefers to remain anonymous.

The Central Board of Secondary Education, the education board which most schools in north Bangalore follow, has already washed its hands of this issue.

“Though the CBSE Board has tightened safety rules in its affiliated schools, it has recommended that the safety audit of staff and premises be done by the police. It has suggested a parent-teacher committee and asked us to take regular feedback. They have told us to comply with their guidelines and report it on the CBSE website within two months,” says another principal accusing the CBSE of passing the buck.

“It is not just physical safety of children, but mental and social security needs that schools should address. I am saying this because sexual misconduct and alleged rape is being reported across the country in such private schools despite being in the glare of CCTV,” says another concerned parent.

“We have a strong policy against child abuse,” is what most schools in north Bangalore say with some even having printed such policy statements on emotional and other issues in the school diary issued to children.

One school in north Bangalore issued a mailed statement saying:

Dear Parent,

As a school we are fully aware of our responsibility where the security of the children is concerned. Please be assured that enough security measures are in place to ensure the safety of the children.

  1. The entire campus is under CCTV surveillance.
  2. Housekeeping are stationed near the rest rooms.
  3. No drivers are allowed inside the campus.
  4. Police verification for all employees done.
  5. Vendors / publishers are permitted on the campus after 3:30 pm.
  6. Floor duty assigned.
  7. Deployment of vigilant officers.
  8. Orientation done on regular basis – for drivers and lady carers as well as external coaches.
  9. Teachers are in class during the lunch break.
  10. Entry and exit grates are monitored by the security.
  11. GPS and cameras in most buses (the rest of the buses will addressed on priority).
  12. Awareness drives are conducted every now and then by trained counselors and also children are shown videos pertaining to good and bad touch.
  13. Fire extinguishers at strategic location.

 

Please be assured that your child is in safe hands and environment at our school.

Your suggestions are always welcome.

 

Signed, The Principal.

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