In order to prevent incidents like what happened in Ryan International School in Gurugram, where a seven-year-old student was killed inside the school premises, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to come up with stricter affiliation and monitoring norms for schools across the country, sources said.

The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level, inter-ministerial meeting on 18 September called by Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar, along with officials of the CBSE, the sources said. Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi was also present at the meeting.

A CBSE official who was present at the meeting said on the condition of anonymity: “Stricter CBSE affiliation and monitoring norms for schools were discussed in the meeting held in the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It was discussed that the norms will be laid down by an expert panel after taking the views from all stakeholders. However, the composition of the proposed panel of experts was not decided in the meeting, but is expected to be done soon,”

“In the meeting, it was also decided that to keep an eye on the safety and security of students in CBSE schools, a monitoring committee under the supervision of senior officials of the CBSE will be set up. The proposed committee will ensure that the schools don’t avoid security norms laid down by the CBSE,” the same official quoted above told The Sunday Guardian.

A recent MHRD statement reads: “Safety and security of students in schools should be the top priority for school managements. The MHRD has already issued directions to the state and CBSE boards to ensure that security audits of schools are done on a regular basis.  Also, new norms binding on schools for getting CBSE affiliation are being discussed and soon the guidelines in this regard will be laid down.”

The CBSE official mentioned above quoted Maneka Gandhi as stressing in the inter-ministerial meeting on the security and safety needs in schools and on the need to come up with a set of norms and code of behaviour which should be binding on schools to follow so that children in schools stay protected from any kind of abuse. The security and safety of children in schools can be ensured by collective efforts of all stakeholders, Gandhi said in the meeting.

Rama Sharma, Public Relations Officer, CBSE, told The Sunday Guardian: “The CBSE has asked for conducting psychological tests of teachers along with police verification across the country. Also, the board is exploring ways to achieve total security and safety in CBSE schools.”

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