In an environment of uncertainty when our daily routines are very hectic and we do not have time to review and recheck our security status,certain things have gone for a toss. Child safety is one of them. Gone are the days when grandfathers/fathers used to drop their children in school. Now a days this busy schedule of our lives do not allow that.
A study conducted just recently has highlighted the safety arrangements in schools in india :-
28% schools do not have separate toilets for boys and girls.
40% of the schools do not have a teacher-student ratio that is better than the desired measure of 30:1.
Only 13% of the teachers/staff have undergone any training in child rights and child protection.
Only 20% schools make available any sort of complaint box for children.
64% schools have taken no measures to ensure safety of children outside school premises.
CCTV installation in schools is neither adequate nor maintained regularly.
Now these findings while being disturbing, does offer scope of improvement in school infrastructure with the help of technology to create a child protection plan which covers factors such as RFID Student Automated Attendance with Parent SMS Notification, RFID Bus tracking (School Transport),
Keeping the above findings in mind, every school should be required to create a child protection plan which should cover all factors like school transport, medical facilities, physical infrastructure, toilets, staff training and forms of punishments and abuse. The Child Protection Policy of a school must be made freely available to all children, staff, parents/ guardians and the public. Every Child Protection Policy must furthermore comprise – a policy statement; code of conduct; a whistle blower policy; implementation guidelines and it must have clear accountability resting with a key stakeholder of the school with a child friendly version made freely accessible to children. It is also imperative that orientation to children and staff on the Child Protection Policy must take place. The Child Protection Policy is the minimum standard every institution must adopt. It is also an important part of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) guidelines, which states that both parents of students and the teachers have to sign guidelines to ensure a safe environment when the child joins a school.
Building a protective net around children is the responsibility of all members of society whether directly charged with the care of children or not. A Child Protection Policy in schools is an attempt to extend child protection beyond the legislations pertaining to children and will go a long way in keeping children safe from many dangers.