The Safety and Security of the School children in the Telangana State is of utmost concern and importance to the Government. The responsibility for this safety and security of the children in the schools lies primarily with the school authorities. It is bounden duty of the schools to provide the environment to the children, where they feel safe and free from any form of physical or emotional abuse or harassment.
Based on the report of the Commissioner & Director of School Education, Telangana, Hyderabad, as received in the references and in view of the Hon’ble Supreme Court orders mentioned in the reference 4th which is to issue detailed Guidelines and as per the provisions of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009, the Government hereby direct all the unaided/aided private schools and schools affiliated to different Boards such as CBSE, ICSE, IB, Cambridge etc., in the State to implement the Guidelines pertaining to the safety and security of the children as follows:-
(i) (a) Get the security /safety audit done of their premises and personnel from their respective local police station and follow the security-related advice for the safety of the school children.
(b) Install CCTV Cameras at all vulnerable areas/points in the school premises andre they are functional at all times. .
(c) Ensure that supporting staff is employed only from authorized agencies and proper records are maintained.
(d) To constitute a Parent-Teacher-Students Committee to address the safety needs of the students and to take regular feedback from the Parents in this regard.
(e) The access to the school building by outsiders should be controlled and visitors monitored. Maintain Visitors register for every entry and exit of all persons/staff / parents.
(f) To provide training to the staff so that they discharge their responsibilities properly and promptly to protect children from any form of abuse.
(g) The school shall constitute Committees for redressal of the Public/ Staff/ Parents/ Students grievances, Internal Complaints Committee on Sexual Harassment and Committees under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, 2012 and details of these Committees along with contact details shall be displayed prominently on School Notice Board and conspicuously on the School Website for the information of all the stakeholders.
To engage lady conductors and provide separate toilets for drivers and the housekeeping team etc.
Presence of a female attendant to be ensured for pre-nursery to primary sections outside the washrooms / toilets / changing rooms in all the schools.
- The children travelling by school bus should be the responsibility of the school from the time they board the school bus till they are handed over to their parents.
- That a person employed with the schools, if found guilty/charged of any criminal offense / antecedents, besides Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) and Juvenile Justice Act, should be immediately terminated.
(ii) Implement the Model Education Code prepared by National University for Educational Planning and Administration in 2015. This can be viewed/ downloaded from http://www.nuepa.org . A hard copy of the same is also enclosed herewith as Annexure-I.
(iii) Implement comprehensive set of Guidelines on the Safety and Security of Children issued by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development(MHRD), Govt. of India communicated vide D.O.Lr.No.10-11/2014-EE-4 of Addl.Secretary(SE) dt.09.10.2014. This can be viewed / downloaded from http://mhrd.gov.in . A hard copy of the same is also enclosed herewith as Annexure-II.
(iv) Implement the Guidelines for Safe and Effective use of Internet & Digital Technologies in schools and school buses issued by CBSE vide Circular No.Acad-32/2017, dated 18.08.2017 communicated by MHRD, Govt. of India. This can be viewed/ downloaded from http://cbse.nic.in .
(v) Implement the Regulatory Guidelines for the private ‘Play Schools’ framed by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) communicated vide D.O.No.2501/13/2016-17/NCPCR/RTE/49579, dated 21.12.2016 of the Member, NCPCR, based on the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy of 2013, of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt.of India, New Delhi, issued vide No.6-3/2009-ECCE, dt.27.09.2013. This can be viewed/ downloaded from http://ncpcr.gov.in .
(vi) Implement the Guidelines on School Safety Policy, 2016 prepared by the National Disaster Management Authority, Govt. of India. This can be viewed/ downloaded from http://www.ndma.gov.in .
The Commissioner & Director of School Education, Telangana, Hyderabad, is directed to take necessary action to communicate these Guidelines to all the unaided/aided private schools and schools affiliated to different Boards in the State. He must also ensure that the above Guidelines are followed scrupulously by all the schools and any violation / lapses with regard to implementation of these Guidelines will invite stringent action against the school managements, including withdrawal of recognition / NOC of the school concerned.
According to the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1989, as ratified by Government of India on 11th December 1992: every child needs special protection to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in a condition of freedom and dignity. Every school should initiate steps and develop schemes for safeguarding the rights of children as part of its continuous effort to encourage them to become responsible and productive citizens who are able to face challenges of life confidently’.
5.1. The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, categorically bans corporal punishment and states: “No child will be subjected to physical punishment and mental harassment.” (Section 17(1))
5.2. Special attention should be given to security of girls. Schools should provide a safe and supportive environment, free from exploitation and abuse, with adequate sanitary facilities to all children. Such an environment will benefit both girls and boys equally.
Safety of Children during Natural Disasters and other Hazards
5.3. Every school should take all the necessary steps to protect the children from natural and man-made hazards like earthquake, flood, fire, stampede, landslide, pollution etc..
5.4. Do’s and don’ts for these hazards have to be prominently displayed. Mock drills to prevent any harm from disasters should be conducted regularly.
5.5. Each school should observe all fire safety norms, as laid down by the fire department. Water, fire- extinguishers and sand buckets should be easily accessible, available and operational. It should be ensured that fire extinguishers are well within the expiry date at any given point of time.
5.6. Every school should formulate an advance school safety plan which includes training and guidance of children in averting incidents likely to cause injury or threaten lives and to avoid or mitigate any loss or suffering. Such training should include fire safety drill, emergency evacuation exercise and earthquake safety measures.
5.7. Schools situated in industrial areas should create additional awareness about the routine to be followed in the event of gas leak or other possible industrial disasters. Evacuation and First Aid arrangements for rapid action should be made. Safety drills with respect to this should be regularly held.
Safety of Children in School
5.8. Construction work in school should be carried out during holidays or after school working hours.
5.9. All schools should be properly fenced.
5.10. Terraces, balconies, should be appropriately fenced with a reasonably high wall of at least 4 feet. Access to and presence in the balconies and on terraces should be supervised by some responsible adult.
5.11. Water storage tanks and septic tanks should be properly covered with bold indication marks. If there are wells in or around the school premises, they should be fenced, clearly marked and children made aware of the need to stay away from them.
5.12. After school hours, all rooms, laboratories and toilets should be checked before the building is locked for the day.
5.13. Schools should ensure that all electrical fittings and appliances are as per safety norms. All electric wires must be insulated and joints covered. Periodic inspection of all the electric points must be conducted.
5.14. All play equipments like swings, seesaws, slides, gymnasium equipments must be checked periodically. Joint hooks, edges, surface coating must be carefully examined for possibility of becoming loose, causing abrasion etc..
5.15. Playgrounds should be free from rusted nails, broken glass, sharp-edged stones etc.. Long wild grass and beehives should be removed periodically. The playground should be neatly levelled for the safety of children.
5.16. No child should be allowed to leave the school during school hours except with duly authorized permission.
5.17. Classroom furniture should be designed keeping in mind children’s comfort and safety. Furniture should also not have sharp edges or abrasive surfaces.
Safety of Adolescent Children 5.18. The students of secondary classes need special care and attention as they undergo a rapid physical growth and changes associated with adolescence and puberty. 5.19. Age-appropriate adolescent and life-skills education should be provided in school including appropriate awareness about HIV/AIDS. 5.20. Special support, counselling and appropriate facilities should be available to girls during their menstruation cycles.
5.21. All schools should provide age-appropriate sex education, create awareness and build systems to protect students from becoming victims of sexual harassment or exploitation.
5.22. Teachers should be oriented to notice and identify possible signs of abuse. The children must have the possibility, the awareness and the confidence to share with their teachers episodes of sexual harassment as urgently as possible. Students must be aware of the need to report and discuss any unease as soon as they feel and be aware of ways to prevent sexual harassment.
5.23. To ensure confidentiality, schools could place secure complaint boxes, where children can put their complaints/suggestions. The school may designate a sensitive lady teacher as a counsellor and/or the person with whom such fears/episodes may be discussed without fear or shame. The school will devise a mechanism to address these issues.
Physical, Emotional and Mental Safety
5.24. No child will be subjected to physical punishment, threats, terror or mental harassment on any count.
5.25. Teachers will not use derogatory remarks, verbal or written, which may negatively impact the self-esteem of a child.
5.26. Teachers will not humiliate or disgrace the child in private or in the presence of others, especially fellow students.
5.27. All students will be treated with respect and dignity. School will administer discipline in a fair and non-biased manner.
5.28. The school will ensure that no child is hurt, harassed or subjected to bullying by other students or outsiders in the school premises on way to school or on way back home.
5.29. The school will create a system of addressing students’ grievances (refer chapter on Code of Conduct for students).
5.30. The school will provide mentoring to the victims of bullying as well as to the students who participate in bullying.