The Delhi government has directed all schools in the national capital 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 directive assumes significance in light of the alleged rape of a minor girl by an electrician in a NDMC school premises in the city.
“In order to ensure better monitoring of any untoward incident and take preventive measures at higher administrative levels, all heads of schools are directed to report immediately any untoward incident like violence, accident, dharna, quarrel, fire, protest, demonstration, theft, stampede, molestation, serious injury, suicide attempt or death to senior education department official whosoever is available at the moment,” a communication sent to school principals by the Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
“In certain cases the reports of such incidents are received at the headquarters through media or other sources instead of the head of school due to which appropriate action cannot be taken in time and increases the threat to safety and security of students and also causes otherwise avoidable embarrassment to department.
Therefore, all such occurrences must be brought to the notice of senior officers without any delay,” it added. The AAP government said that if the school principal is not able to send a detailed report to higher authorities, telephonic information is to be given immediately followed by a detailed report later on the same day.
“Non compliance of the directive will be viewed seriously and action deemed fit will be initiated against the erring head of the school,” the DoE letter said.
Rape of the class 2 girl in Delhi last week has revived the debate on safety and security of students inside school premises. Following the incident, the Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notices to Delhi Police demanding details of the case.
The NDMC too had initiated disciplinary action against the school authorities and suspended four of its officials including the headmistress. The Delhi government had last month 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.