SC issues directive to ensure safety of school children
A plea seeking the implementation of existing guidelines for schoolchildren's safety was filed by two lawyers in the SC. This is linked with the petition filed by Pradyuman's father. On 8th Sep, Pradyuman, a seven-year-old student of Ryan International School, was found dead with his throat slashed in the school's toilet. The SC has directed the Centre and states to file their replies to this plea.
The lawyers' plea has sought the appropriate implementation of existing guidelines referring to the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy among others. These guidelines indicate the need for a "child protection policy" in schools to be signed by employees. Maintaining records of entry-exit and terminating persons guilty of criminal offences were other suggested steps.
After a CBI probe request in Pradyuman's murder, the SC issued a notice to the Centre, Haryana Government and the state's DG of police, and CBSE demanding an explanation. Consequently, CBSE released a circular about the guidelines to be adopted by schools for ensuring students' safety. The circular ordered the installation of CCTV cameras, regulation of entry-exit of outsiders and staff verification by police.
Other steps to improve school safety could be implemented. An HT report says that CCTV may not be sufficient as the Ryan murder happened in the toilet. Thus, parents have sought toilet attendants for children's safety. Children might be vulnerable in school buses; thus, female conductors have been requested. Considering Pradyuman's brutal killing, swift and long-term steps are required to ensure schoolchildren's safety.