THE MURDER of a seven-year-old boy in the toilet of the Ryan International School in Gurugram has left parents in the city worried about safety of their wards in schools. Parents’ associations have now decided to let their concern be known to the government.
“We will write a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the education department. Our demand is that the Supreme Court guidelines for safety measures at schools be implemented properly at the earliest in all schools in the state,” said Anubha Sahai, president of India Wide Parents’ Association. The association wants the government to release the audit reports of the education department.
“The state government has issued resolutions for schools to keep safety measures in place such as installing CCTV cameras, having separate toilets for boys and girls and proper sensitisation of staff. The education department is supposed to conduct regular audits to ensure these directives are followed by schools,” said Sahai, adding that similar letters will be sent to chief ministers of other states too.
Arundhati Chavan, the head of the Parent Teacher Association United Forum of Maharashtra, said they will petition the state education department and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
“There are guidelines in place but the problem lies with implementation. Schools are not implementing the guidelines defined by the state and the education department is lax in enforcing these guidelines. This has led to worry among parents,” said Chavan.
“Parents pay hefty fees running into lakhs for quality education in international schools. The schools must justify the fees they demand and provide safety to the children,” said Sahai.
Apart from the state government, the National Disaster Management Authority of India, too, released a school safety policy last year, highlighting the need for a safe environment for children starting from their homes to their schools and back.