The importance of school safety has been one of the main priorities of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from the past few years. There are various instructions given by the board on structural safety, fire safety management, dealing with violence and ragging in schools, protecting children from sexual abuse, ensuring the safety of children in school buses and others. The CBSE schools in Kolkata always follow these instructions. Some specific things that the school should ensure in connection to student safety are:
The school building, premises, playgrounds, laboratories, toilets, computer rooms and other areas of the school environment should be safe and secure. There should be proper measures taken at the time of constructing the school building to provide safety from hazards. There should be basic fire safety equipment in the buildings of the schools affiliated to CBSE and their buildings should be earthquake resilient. There should be awareness and preparation among school administration, staff, teachers as well as students to respond to any natural or man-made catastrophe.
The psychological safety of the students is also important along with their physical safety to ensure the complete safety of the students. There are continuous symptoms of depression, dissociative reactions, helpless feeling, lack of emotional intelligence and aggression in the children who are victims of violence. The school authority can constantly monitor and record a child’s day-to-day life in school if there are CCTV cameras installed at important locations across school premises. For this reason, CCTV cameras are installed by the top CBSE schools in Kolkata. There should be proper vigilance and observation of the school for any physical, emotional or sexual child abuse. To enable the staff members to understand the key indicators of child abuse and be prepared to respond instantly to inappropriate or harmful behaviour, they should be properly trained.
3.School Transportation and Safety
It was made mandatory by CBSE in 2014 for all school buses to install GPS systems. This was done to ensure the safe transportation of children while going to and returning from school. To ensure the safety of children and fleet management in real-time, the school administration should have an easy-to-use system. The parents should also receive constant updates of their children’s whereabouts from the school administration.
4.Background Verification of Staff
There should be checking for the pre-employment background while hiring teachers, administrators and other school staff for the safety of the students. The people who come in contact with the students within the school premises can be screened in this way. They include teachers, sports coaches, cleaning staff, etc.