The government received five complaints of student safety breach in schools across the country last year, including the infamous Ryan case. According to the Human Resource Development Ministry data, five complaints were received by the government including two from Haryana and one each from Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
“No complaint of any breach of student safety was received against any Delhi school,” a senior HRD Ministry official said. While all the complaints were received against CBSE schools, no complaints were received regarding not meeting the norms related to the safety of children in any of the Kendriya Vidyalayas.
The complaints included the gruesome murder of a boy in Gurgaon’s Ryan international school which triggered a debate about student safety in schools. Other complaints were about a girl’s gangrape at a Sonipat (Haryana) school, sexual assault of a four and half-year-old girl by a school employee in Rajasthan and mental and sexual harassment of a girl at a Haldwani (Uttarakhand) school.
The number of complaints of student safety breach received in 2016 was 3 while 4 cases were reported in 2015. While in all the cases show-cause notices were issued to the school authorities seeking an explanation about the incident, only a 2016 rape case by a teacher at a Mumbai school was brought to closure and the school’s affiliation withdrawn.
Asked about the steps taken to ensure students safety in schools, the official said, “The Ministry has communicated the National School Safety Guidelines prepared by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to all the states in last September for taking necessary safety measures in their schools.”
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also suggested authorities at different levels such as school management committees (SMCs), school principal, school management, education department and boards, to conduct safety audits in schools.
NCPCR has also developed a manual on the safety and security of children in school setting. In the wake of increased concerns about student safety following the Ryan case, the CBSE had also directed schools to conduct police verification and psychometric evaluation of its teaching and non-teaching staff.