@AdityaBirlaGrp: Mandate 50% parent members in safety committee of your schools.
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November 2017: A four-year-old girl of a reputed school in Kolkata returned home with blood-stains on her uniform and was reportedly crying. The parents then rushed to the SSKM hospital with the child, where doctors told the parents about the sexual assault.
Back in November 2014, a six-year girl was assaulted in the same school. An outsider was blamed last time. This time, the enemy was within.
One thing stayed constant. No CCTV at the school then. No CCTV now.
December 2017: A staff member of another reputed school of Kolkata was arrested for the sexual assault of a three-year-old twice earlier this year. The girl’s parents claimed that the incidents had happened in June and September and the school had not taken any action.
I am a mother of two kids. My elder one is already in a school. I got really scared after those incidents. I researched for the last 1 year and found so many such cases in private schools. Most of them happened in the pre-primary section (3-6 years).
Schools exist to provide safe environments to children to explore, be curious, to learn, to be taught. This is why schools have walls, fences, and gates – to keep their wards safe. However, in the light of recent atrocities, schools are unfortunately not safe anymore. The children are getting raped, molested and abused in schools across the nation.
Now the question is, can the parents really encourage their children to go to school when they themselves are not sure about the safety of the school?
A mistrust between school and parent is growing exponentially. It can explode at any time.
A child's education is a shared responsibility of parents and school. So we don't want any scope of mistrust between both.
The mistrust needs to translate to better parental engagement in schools. Good schools will always agree to make things better and will appreciate the well-mannered support from the parents.
So I am requesting Aditya Birla Group and BK Birla Group to mandate the inclusion of 50% parent members in their Safety Committee.
- School can ask the parents to nominate themselves as a volunteer.
- School should also facilitate to introduce the interested parents to all other parents
- Then school should arrange an online or offline voting system to select the final parent members.
- Other parents should always have the opportunity to personally interact with them.
If an equal ratio of parent members are included in the School Safety Committee, they can:
- Actively take part in creating a safety guideline for school.
- Ensure regular auditing of school infrastructure. i.e. if CCTV is installed or it's in good condition etc.
- Verify the background checking of teaching and non-teaching staffs.
- Interact with other parents and address their safety-related issues.
- Not only physical safety-related issues but also emotional safety-related issues can be addressed by parents. For instance mental harassment, bullying, inappropriate textbook, etc.
Birla Group has a great contribution in building future citizens across the generation with their schools in India. They are also very much aware of their social responsibilities. So they should take this initiative for a noble cause of creating an environment of safety and trust in the school.
Being a pioneer, they can also set an example for others. If they take this first step, they are going to create a positive revolution in the school safety system across India.
So request you, please sign my petition to bring back the environment of safety and trust in schools.
#engageparentsinschoolsafety #bringbacktrust #makeschoolsafest
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