The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Saturday served a showcause notice to Ryan International School’s Bhondsi branch, where a Class II student was found murdered on Sept-ember 8, seeking an explanation as to why the school’s affiliation should not be revoked for being grossly negligent and failing to ensure safety of students on campus. The school has two weeks to respond, failing which an ex-parte decision will be taken by the Board, the notice said.
CBSE’s decision to serve the notice was based on observations of a two-member fact-finding committee, which submitted its report on Friday evening. As first reported by The Indian Express on Saturday, the committee had found “several security and safety lapses” on campus, including insufficient CCTV cameras, no separate toilets for bus drivers and conductors, and a breach in the boundary wall (covered with barbed wires) of the main building.
Indicting the school administration, the committee had said, “The school has failed to observe basic security measures as stipulated by the Board, which are of preventive nature and could have avoided the unfortunate death of the child.” It further observed, “The school management also failed to inform police and Education Department regarding incident of death of the child, which shows negligence on the part of school administration. The incident of death of the student was reported to the police authorities by the parent.”
The panel report, accessed by The Indian Express, also states that the tragedy could have been averted had the school employed an attendant for the toilet used by young students. “It was told that the cry of the child was not heard by any staff. This indicates complete negligence of the school management towards safety and security,” the report states. “The toilet windows had no grills and hence people can access (it) easily from outside.”
Giving examples of how the school administration had compromised students’ safety, the panel observed that only three out of five floors of the school building were used for teaching purposes and students had access to unused classrooms and the terrace, which were not locked.
The committee also found the electricity panel room unlocked which, it observed, could prove to be dangerous for children on campus. Further, the panel did not find either a ramp or special toilets for differently abled students.
CBSE had set up the committee on September 8 amid angry protests by parents, who had sought action against the school management for alleged neglect which could have compromised safety and led to the murder of the Class II student. On the committee were Y Arun Kumar, deputy commissioner, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, regional office Agra, and Kailash Chand, principal, Govt Co-ed Senior Secondary School, Preet Vihar.