Congress’s Maharashtra legislator Arif Naseem Khan on Monday announced plans to sponsor CCTVs in economically weak schools, especially in slums, “to ensure that students’ security is not compromised in any manner”.
The former state Minister also appealed to all the legislators and parliamentarians of Maharashtra to come forward with similar sponsorships for poor schools in the wake of the September 8 murder of a seven-year old student of Ryan International School in Haryana.
Addressing a meeting of over 100 school trustees, principals, parent-teacher associations, education department and police officials to discuss students security, Khan said parents and children have suffered a loss of confidence in schools after the Haryana incident.
“Many children may have been victims of mild or serious forms of offences on their school premises, but their parents are too scared to bring it to the notice of the schools or the police,” Khan told IANS.
For this, he said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis must direct the Education Department to set up a special school helpline number where the students or their parents could report such instances without fear of repercussions and the government must promptly follow-up with remedial actions.
“It’s a matter of regret that despite the Bombay High Court orders to the state government over a year ago to install CCTV in all schools, nearly half of the 5,000 plus schools in Mumbai remain without CCTVs and students, especially young girls, continue to be at risk,” Khan said.
“After the Ryan International School incident, parents and students in all schools are under duress, which is not good for their academics, mental and physical health. The school managements, principals and teachers must win back their confidence and make going to school a safe and enjoyable experience once again,” he told the various stakeholders.
Among other measures, the participants expressed the need for female teachers in all school buses and at PT classes to ensure safety of the students at all times, training on ‘good touch-bad touch’, a strict ban on entry of unauthorised persons in the school premises especially toilets/canteens/changing rooms, etc.
He asked police and Education Department officials at the meeting to comply with the court orders and enforce the ban on all tobacco products within 500 metres of every school on top priority.