Rocked by a spate of sexual assaults on girls taking place within the school premises, the Maharashtra state government has approved installation of CCTV cameras in all 65,086 government run schools. Private schools will also be asked to install CCTV cameras to ensure the safety and security of children.
The decision comes in the wake of several crimes against minors being reported. The crimes took place within the school premises itself. On March 23, a 36-year-old man allegedly raped a 11-year-old class VI student in the school’s washroom in Pune’s Shivajinagar locality.
In another incident in Pune, a class X girl who was to appear for her final state board exam starting March 15 (Tuesday) was stabbed by a 21-year old man waiting inside the classroom a day earlier. The girl’s parents had already lodged a complaint with the school authorities about the man following their daughter and trying to enter the school premises just a few days earlier. However, the school failed to take any action against the stalker.
On Friday, (March 25) the state’s minister for school education, Varsha Gaikwad announced the government’s decision to install CCTVs in the state’s schools in a phased manner. The minister was responding to concerns raised about students’ safety in the state’s legislative assembly.
Maharashtra has 65,086 government run schools of which 1,624 schools are already fitted with CCTV cameras. The government plans to complete installation of CCTV cameras in the remaining schools too by the end of the forthcoming academic year (2022-23).
The government will use funds allocated to members of the state’s legislative assembly, the District Planning and Development Council and Members of Parliament Local Area Development scheme to complete the installations. It will also approach non profits and others for corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds.
The minister further informed, schools will be asked to record the attendance of children while entering as well as leaving the school premises. Schools will also have to verify students’ whereabouts in case of the student remaining absent without informing the school.
The government mandated, school ‘Sakhi Savitri’ committees will be responsible for maintaining a safe environment in their schools. Launched to prevent students’ abuse and check the increasing student drop-out rates in schools, the state issued a government resolution (March 11) mandating all schools to form the Sakhi Savitri committee.
The committee comprises representatives from the school management, teachers, parents, students besides experts from the field of counselling, medicine, police and law. Members are entrusted to create awareness amongst the children and also keep a check on the functioning of the CCTVs.
The Pune police probing the sexual assault on the class VI student have stated while the school had 20 CCTVs all over, none except for those installed near the gate had recording facility. The police, however, arrested a suspect on Thursday (March 24).News, States