Keeping SCHOOLS SAFE
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Our Schools are not that safe for our kids and we all know it very well. Schools should adhere to certain rules and those should not just be guidenlines but enforced to the core. Here are 10 recommendations, pls feel free to add.
1. Government should release a rating mechanism for all private schools. The criteria for assessment should also include SAFETY as one of the key dimensions. (Ref : https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/DSIB/Reports?i=3) This would force the schools to maintain some standard and compete.
2. Government audits should be done every 6 months to understand the profitability of the school and reason for high fee structure vis a vis the facilities provided to their students. Teaching is not just a business.
3. No school bus should be outsourced to private vendors. All buses should be owned by the school or can be outsourced to one single party who follows all the norms as mentioned in the next point below. Keeping track of the private vendor is next to impossible, whatever assurances they give. The bus fees and tuition fees are no less than any international standards, so why to compromise on these basic facilities.
4. All school buses should be painted Yellow (International standard), with GPS, CCTV and RFID reader which will enable the parents to track the movement of their kids. These buses should have female attendents as well. The contact details of the driver and the attendent should be shared with the parents for each route.
5. No one should be allowed inside the campus for drop off and pick up except the parents and that too only for supervision/own transport students. Any 3rd person or vehicle assigned to collect students should follow the same guidenline as memtioned in point no 4 above.
6. CCTV should be installed in all the class rooms, wash room entrances/exit, corridors etc. The school premise, building, campus should be covered 100%. Live feed should be shared on school intranet with access given to parents. This will ensure more transparency and secured environment with equal participation from both parent and school.
7. Police verification (background check) of all non teaching staff with updated details should be available with school management and status displayed on school website (only to parents after login)
8. A four to six member 'Risk and Safety' team should be constituted (2 teacher and 2 parents) who shall be responsible for identifying loopholes and solution recommendation. Dashboard of all security incidents reported in a month and their status should be maintained on school website.
9. Experience and Best practices within schools should be shared and implemented. Students and all staffs should be encouraged to highlights issues and areas which needs improvement. Good ideas and recommendations should be appropriately rewarded
10. Workshops on school safety and awareness campaigns should be organized within and outside the school campus to create a culture of safe schooling and building confidence among the parents
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