Hyderabad: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular with guidelines to ensure safety of children at school, asking schools to install CCTV cameras on school premises and to get police verification and psychometric evaluation done for all staff.
The guidelines, apparently issued in the wake of recent incidents including the Gurugram murder, point out that the concern of parents about the safety of school children was increasing every other day regarding their physical safety, mental and emotional health or child abuse owing to increasing incidents involving safety and wellbeing of school children.
The onus for safety and security of children on the school campus shall solely lie upon the school authorities, the circular says, and stresses that it is a fundamental right of a child to engage and study in an environment where he/she feels safe and is free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment.
The guidelines are from based on instructions from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and call for preventive mechanisms and procedures for institutionalizing a system to ensure safety and security of children in schools. The circular asks for a security /safety audit done of the school premises and personnel from the respective local police station and follow the security related advice for the safety of school children. This has to be complied with and reported online on the CBSE website www.cbse.nic.in within two months of receipt of the circular.
The other guidelines are: Install CCTV Cameras at all vulnerable areas/point in the School premises and ensure they are functional at all times; Get police verification and psychometric evaluation done for all the staff employed (non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors, peon and other support staff); Ensure that supporting staff is employed only from authorized agencies and proper records are maintained; Constitute a parent-teacher-students committee to address safety needs of students and take regular feedback from parents; Access to school building by outsiders should be controlled and visitors monitored; and provide training and development for staff to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse.
The circular also says schools should constitute separate committees for redressal of public/staff/parents/students grievances, an Internal Complaints committee on sexual harassment and committees under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, and to display details of these committees along with contact details on the school notice board and on the school website.
Any violation/lapses with regard to safety and wellbeing of children in school campus will invite action including the disaffiliation of the school, the circular adds.