Is Your Child Safe At School? Things Parents Must Do To Ensure Child Safety At School
Recalling the brutal murder of a 7-year-old in a Gurgaon school and the rape of a 5-year-old in a Delhi school, the incidents have once again reminded us of how unsafe schools can be for children.
Parents, this is how you can ensure your child's safety in schools
- The central government on its part has passed POCSO Act for child safety
- Ask your kid if he was sad at school or did somebody bully them in school
- Ask the school authorities to show you their security arrangements
Recalling the brutal murder of a 7-year-old in a Gurgaon school and the rape of a 5-year-old in a Delhi school, the incidents have once again reminded us of how unsafe schools can be for children. It brings back memories of the twin drowning cases last year - one in a Delhi school (which is part of the same chain in which the 7-year-old was murdered) and the other in a government-run public school. These tragedies in school campuses aren't just limited to schools in India but also occur in some of the developed countries as well. The central government on its part has passed laws such as Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO Act) and many state and city governments have issued school safety guidelines. Yet, the efficacy of such laws is very poor given the state's poor capacity for implementation of such laws and guidelines.
There are a few things parents can and should do to ensure that the school is safe for their children - from sexual offences, bullying, corporal punishment, physical safety, natural calamities and medical emergencies.
1. Be aware of the school's safety committee
Safe schools often have a matured and an independent safety committee with representations from parents, teachers and expert consultants. This committee has a mandate to work with the school on developing metrics for safety audits, process and policy design and creating buy-in from parent community on safety issues.
2. Communicate with your child on a regular basis
Don't just ask your kids the regular questions like how are they doing and how was their day? Ask them more important questions like, was the kid sad at school or did somebody bully them in school?
3. Learn the school security arrangements
When you attend the PTM meetings ask the school authorities to show you the kind of security arrangements they follow. Like, If there are CCTV cameras installed in all places (corridors, washroom doors, class rooms, stair cases) with close uninterrupted surveillance by a staff member or someone from the PTA committee?
4. Be aware the school driver follows the safety rules
In the middle of grave and heinous crimes being committed against innocent kids, road safety might not appear to be an area of immediate consideration but trust me, when it comes to safety, there's nothing too small or big and it's never too late to start. Make sure you have the driver's identity card and the license photocopy.
To ensure your children are safe, be aware parents!