The Centre on Wednesday apprised the Supreme Court that it has issued guidelines and advisories to all states on safety and security of school children after brutal killing of seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School at Gurugram. The Human Resource Development Ministry, in an affidavit, assured the top court that it was willing to take further measures “in view of emergent requirements” to ensure safety of children in schools across the nation.
Responding to the PILs including one filed by Barun Chandra Thakur, father of the deceased child, the Centre, however, said it had a limited role as its guidelines are to be enforced by the states. “It is pertinent to mention that this department has taken cognisance to ensure safety and well-being of children in schools. Guidelines and advisories on safety and security of children have been issued as and when needed,” the Centre said.
“The government has also circulated the policy guidelines of National Disaster Management Authority to all the Principal secretaries/Secretaries (Education) of all state governments and UTs”, the government’s affidavit said.
It also apprised the court that guidelines were issued to ensure quality, safety and hygiene under the mid-day meal scheme. “The role of the answering respondent’s department (HRD) is limited to issuance of policy and various guidelines which are required to be enforced by various states and other authorities under which these educational institutions/schools runs their administration and daily operations,” the affidavit said.
The Centre also said that school management committees would also be empowered with the participation of all stakeholders including parents to secure the school campus in all respects.
The apex court had on October 9 asked all the state governments to ensure that the Centre’s guidelines on safety and security of children were implemented in “reality” in every school of the country.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that it has been issuing guidelines on safety of children to state governments. The bench had posted the matter for further hearing on October 30.
Earlier, the CBSE said the gruesome killing of a minor boy of Gurugram’s Ryan International School took place due to the “negligence” of institution’s administration as drivers, conductors were allowed to use washrooms meant only for kids and staff.
Thakur, through his lawyer Sushil Tekriwal, had sought framing and strict adherence of guidelines to ensure that no other child meets the fate of his son.
Pradyuman, a class II student of the high-profile school, was found dead with his throat slit by a sharp-edged weapon on the morning of September 8. It was alleged that he was killed by 42-year-old bus conductor Ashok Kumar inside the toilet as the boy resisted a bid to sodomise him.
The boy’s father, in his plea, has sought laying down of guidelines by which “liability, responsibility and accountability of the management of the schools” across the country can be fixed in matters relating to safety and security of children at educational institutions.