Placing the onus on schools for the safety of students on their premises, the CBSE issued new security-related guidelines that included a psychometric test for teaching and non-teaching staff.
The board has asked schools to complete the evaluation process within two months and implement the other guidelines, failing which they would face, derecognition.
The board’s directive comes amid increased concerns about the safety of students in school premises following the killing of a seven-year-old student in a Gurgaon school and the rape of a five-year-old girl by a school peon in Delhi.
“Such verification and evaluation for non-teaching staff such as bus drivers, conductors, peon, and other support staff may be done very carefully and in a detailed manner. This may be compiled and reported online on CBSE website within two months of receipt of this circular,” the CBSE directive states.
Safety audits, installation of CCTV cameras, police verification, Constitution of parent-teacher-students committees to address safety needs of the students and taking regular feedback from parents are among the other measures prescribed by the board.
“The onus for safety and security of children in school campus shall solely lie upon the school authorities. 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 directive further says.
It also says that access to the school building by outsiders should be controlled and visitors monitored.
“Training should be provided to the school staff to address their responsibilities to protect children from any form of abuse.
“Any violation/lapses with regard to safety and well being of children in school campus would invite appropriate action including the disaffiliation of the school as per the provisions of affiliation by-laws of the board,” it adds.
Schools have also been asked to constitute separate committees for redressal of grievances of the public, staff, parents, and students, an Internal Complaints committee to deal with sexual harassment, and committees under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, 2012.
“Details of these committees along with contact details shall be displayed prominently on school notice board and conspicuously on the school website for information of all stakeholders,” the communication sent to schools says.
Ensuring employment of support staff only from authorised agencies and maintenance of proper records is another one of the guidelines.
The CBSE last Saturday formed a panel to probe whether the student’s death in Gurgaon occurred due to negligence on the part of the school authorities and if the school had adopted all safety measures as per CBSE affiliation by-laws.
The panel’s report, which is to be submitted within 30 days, will also dwell on whether the authorities reported the incident to police and the district education officer, besides the circumstances leading to the death of the student.