By Sandy Hooda
School safety is ranked amongst the top parameters as parents select a school for their child. School safety has several vital aspects, some of which are stated below. These are not ranked in order of priority. There is no silver bullet, however with each measure the school gets safer. In this ever changing world, both parents and school staff should work together to continuously find new and better ways to enhance safety. An active parent council can also keep a vigilant eye on safety measures in a school.
‘No Bullying’ Policy
Bullying can potentially do the most damage to a child’s emotional and mental well being. The school needs to impose a strict no tolerance policy against bullying. Educators, support staff, parents and students need to be sensitised.
While a ‘no bullying’ policy is a necessary measure, it is extrinsic in nature. The school culture is a more intrinsic measure that plays an equally important role. A culture of kindness and empowerment wherein all stakeholders treat each other with respect goes a long way in eliminating bullying.
Nutritious, clean and healthy food
Schools must invest in food safety norms and procedures. They should also actively verify and monitor the sources of raw materials. The cafeteria staff must wear protective clothing and headgear. The food menu should be designed in collaboration with leading nutrition experts. Parents should also be regularly invited to taste the food and inspect the kitchen and cafeteria.
No dark corners
School architecture where classrooms are open and where there are no dark corridors or corners is extremely helpful in enhancing safety. Use of indoor glass and open zones enhance visibility and transparency, making the campus more safe and secure.
The Best schools in Gurgaon generally do not have CCTV’s in classrooms, since CCTV cameras make teachers conscious and create an avoidable culture of fear. CCTV’s are essential in the common areas and in buses and add an additional layer of security.
GPS Devices and Speed Governors in Buses
GPS in buses can help the transport personnel of the school as well as parents track the gro-location of the school bus. Equally through the GPS, the speed of the bus can be monitored, and further through the use of speed governors, the top speed can be limited. Teachers should be present in buses, with nannies mandatorily present from the first to the last bus stop.
Extensive reference checks and police verification of support staff are essential. These help filter out dubious staff, as well as serve as additional deterrents.
Trained school nurses
The best schools will have highly capable and trained nurses along with commensurate safety and life saving equipment. Nurses should be specifically trained to serve learners at all levels – pre-nursery, nursery school, kindergarten, primary school, middle school and senior school. A tie up with a well known hospital is helpful in case of emergencies.
Norms and Drills
There needs to be a complete adherence to NBCC norms such as fire drills and disaster management drills. All fire norms need to be followed to maintain the safety and security of the staff and the learners.
In the post pandemic world, the Top schools in Gurgaon will need to train staff and invest in sanitising equipment, and fully comply with The World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines related to Covid Safety.
PM 2.5 Air Filters
Delhi NCR/Gurgaon experience high levels of air pollution, especially during the winter months. Schools will need to invest in AC Plants along with PM 2.5 filters. These filters not only provide protection against indoor air pollution, they also provide additional levels of protection against viruses and bacteria, including against variants of COVID-19.
With the above measures in place, parents can breathe easy and send their most precious possessions to school without any worry. While selecting a school for their child, parents should enquire about the presence of these safety measures. The Top 10 schools of Gurgaon make that additional investment in the right architecture, equipment and training. Above all, they make sure that the culture of the school is created to enhance safety resulting in happy children and in turn, happy parents.