Free Press Journal

Indore: Parents worry over substandard or no security measure in city schools

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Indore: Amid nationwide outcry over Pradhuman’s murder at Ryan International School, parents here in city were found to be deeply scared and concerned about safety of their children, given the lack of proper security mechanism in almost all the schools in the city. Numerous groups of parents have approached schools in individual capacity as well as associations demanding schools to ensure protection for their wards.

However, to one’s surprise the question of such serious lack of security in even best schools of the city despite soaring fees stays unanswered. Though some schools ensure parents that their children are well protected, setting up basic safety measures like CCTV cameras, counsellors and doing a background check of every staff in school seem too much of a task for them.

AT LEAST HOME SHOULD BE A SAFE PLACE FOR CHILDREN


The problem is parental ignorance and over-engagement in their personal lives. Parents only talk about food and studies, when it comes to schools. Parents should be aware of their child’s behaviour and other little experiences as well. Being so busy, parents fail to detect deviation
in their child’s behaviour. When a child is scared or aloof, it means he or she must have lots of behavioural changes. If parents get aware of their
children’s activities and pay enough attention to them, a child in distress can be saved.

There are many cases of mishandling of children coming up lately, and sadly, parents cannot detect them because children repeatedly lie due to
fear. What hurts me is that parents are even scared to act against errant teachers and schools, putting a child in fear and ruining its future. If any of the following signs are found in children, parents should immediately talk to them with love and care. At least home should be a safe place for children.

Psychiatrist Maya Bohra

WARNING SIGNS

Children found suddenly scared or aloof
Change in walking style
Excessive crying
Disinterest in activities
Physical marks of mishandling

PROPER BACKGROUND CHECK ESSENTIAL
According to Supreme Court guideline, it is must for every school to have security cameras and female attendants in school buses. But, it is not followed by most of the schools. Looking at the recent incident of Pradhuman’s murder at Ryan International School, schools should automatically tighten their protection and take care of every child. Our association is going to request DIG police to enforce compulsory background checks for all school employees. Though some schools follow police verification norms, just a police paper is not enough. Like most big IT companies ensure background checks with undertaking even visits to employees’ houses, every school should do the same. All the schools are charging so much of fees; and they can thus easily spare a little from that income to ensure safety of children.

ANURODH JAIN, PRESIDENT OF INDORE PARENT ASSOCIATION

Camera and police verification must
I am a mother of two little girls. Though the concern over safety is justified, we are trying to stay calm and act sensibly. Panicking is not going to help. If we compare other schools and worry, it will not lead to a solution. Our group of parents has fixed an appointment with the school of my daughters in this week. We would be discussing school’s effort towards ensuring safety of our children with principal. We are not going on social media and creating havoc.

We just want to check whether school has functional cameras everywhere on its premises or made police verification of all the employees. Another important point of our discussion is monitoring of students by teachers and counsellors. We would give the school seven days time to revert back with a report. We are hoping it will be satisfactory. Besides, we are also discussing protection and safety measures with our children.

Arshi Amir, Event professional

Rising crimes in schools scare me
We are paying a big amount to schools as fees for educating our child in a safe and secure environment. However, rising cases of crimes in schools is scaring me. Most schools do not have an attendant to take care of children during their break or whenever they are in playground. There is no one to assist children in buses as well. All the schools have such complicated infrastructure that cameras cannot even capture previews of all the corners.

Corridors and stairs have enough places for an attacker to find our children and harass them.Though cameras are installed, they are not functional and maintenance is low in most of the schools. As far as I know, 60 per cent schools do not have female attendees in bus. The entire month before annual function is the scariest time for me, as children are left alone for teachers remain busy with their work.

Prakrrati Surana, Homemaker

School hardly listens to parents
Luckily, my child is studying in senior class. I shared videos and spoke to my child about safety in schools. I am asking my child to understand both good and bad touches. I am also encouraging parents to at least aware their children about various crimes happening in schools across the country. I spoke to teachers in my kid’s school as well, asking them to take care of every child. I tried to explain my side to teachers, who understood my concerns. Officially, school does not really support parents or help them.

Bindiya Sood, General manager

Sad to see teachers have become so selfish
Not just one or two schools, every school seems to be failing at protecting children. It is sad to see that teachers, who are considered second parents, have become stone-hearted and selfish. Teachers have associations to defend themselves, but parents are too scared to stand together. There are enough cases, including mine where children are mistreated in schools. I feel we need an unbiased government counsellor to intervene
into such issues and ensure protection and safety of children. Teachers are paid employees of a school and guided by the management, they only care about school’s rules and their reputation. We need someone, who can consider children’s safety over school’s reputation and rules.

Rajesh Tiwari, Marketing manager

They asked me not to worry
Even before this Pradhuman’s incident, last month I expressed my concern over my child’s safety to the school management.They asked me not to worry about that, as they are very particular about it. They assured me that lady attendants are stationed outside all children toilets and even in school buses. Still beasts are in all garbs. I am trying to stay calm believing the school, but it turns out to be impossible after listening to my child. I am worried about my little boy.

Sushmita Sahay, Operating manager