The Delhi government has warned schools in the national capital of withdrawal of recognition and initiation of disciplinary proceedings against principals if student safety guidelines are not complied with.
Pulling up the schools for “half-hearted compliance”, the government has said there is no respite in the number of various types of physical, emotional and sexual assaults on school children — within the school boundaries and outside.
“Despite serious endeavours by the government, other agencies and by courts, the schools also respond with only half-hearted compliance,” an official order by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
“In case of some schools, the status of compliance is even more worrisome. No wonder then, that there is no respite in the number of various types of physical, emotional and sexual assaults on school children-within the school boundaries and outside,” it said.
“In fact, such incidents are on the rise. In such a grim scenario, it is felt that half-hearted approach won’t work anymore. If our schools are serious about providing foolproof safety and security to the innocent children whose parents trust us and only, therefore, they entrust us with the responsibility of their wards), then they must ensure compliance of the directions,” the official order said.
The department has said that it “shall initiate disciplinary proceedings against the heads of schools and estate managers if they fail to follow the tenets of student safety guidelines in word and spirit”.
“Further, this directorate will be constrained to initiate equally severe action against the schools, including withdrawal of recognition in cases of repeated and deliberate non-compliance to pre-empt any untoward incident endangering the safety of students and thus, inculcate a sense of confidence among the students and their parents”.
The directive assumes significance in light of the recent case of alleged rape of a minor girl by an electrician in a NDMC school premises in the city.
The government had last week directed all schools in the city to immediately report to it about any untoward incident such as accident, violence, molestation or protest before it reaches the media so that quick action can be taken and also there is no “embarrassment” to the Education Department.
The government had also issued fresh guidelines to schools for ensuring students’ safety, with a special focus on the security of the pupils travelling to schools by private vans.
The guidelines were issued following recommendations from a high-level committee which was formed in the wake of the murder of a seven-year-old boy in a Gurgaon school and alleged rape of a five-year-old girl in a school in Shahdara.