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Education Dept Issues Safety Guidelines – better late than never

The recent rise in incidents of child abuse seems to have spurred the Department of Primary and Secondary Education into action. It has now issued a set of guidelines for parents, the police and school authorities on how to protect schoolchildren.

The department formulated the rules in association with the Women and Child Welfare Department. The copy of the guidelines available with Express mandates that all schools register details of their teaching and non-teaching staff with the local police. The schools now have to set up child safety committees, comprising the head of the institution, a teacher, a parent, an expert, and child and security representatives.

Implementation

The department will implement the guidelines through the block education officers, police  and the district women and child welfare units. To monitor the implementation, the Education Department will direct all deputy directors to submit reports every three months.

FOR PARENTS

    Teach children not to communicate with or befriend strangers. They shouldn’t become overtly close even with familiar faces

    Approach the police if the child gets obscene messages or videos on his/her mobile phone

    Try your best to admit kids to a school close to your home

FOR POLICE

    Collect detailed information on the schools and their staff in your jurisdiction

    If any case of mental or physical abuse is reported, visit the said school immediately

    Give immediate attention to complaints of parents, children and female staff

    In case of complaints from children, act without revealing the child’s identity

FOR SCHOOLS

    Don’t let children leave the school compound with anyone but their parents/guardians

    Don’t allow girl students to be alone with male staffers

    Construct separate toilets for boys and girls; station female attendants near ladies’ toilets

    Hire non-teaching staff from reputed outsourcing agencies and provide their details to the police

    Before closing the school for the day, ensure no child or staff member is on the school premises

    Refrain from giving punishments like shutting children inside dark rooms

    No strangers should be allowed inside the school vehicle

    On the way back, school drivers shouldn’t drop the child anywhere but at his/her house

    Ensure electricity supply in all parts of the school

    Teach children about good touch-bad touch