The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued summons to three MCDs seeking information on measures undertaken by the schools for safety and security of students. The Commission has taken this step in the backdrop of incident of sexual assault with girl students in a corporation run school in East MCD.
The Commission received a case regarding sexual assault with girl students inside a Primary School run by MCD in Bhajanpura, Delhi. It was learnt that students were waiting for their teacher inside the class after the school assembly when an unknown person entered the class and sexually assaulted some girl students. In this regard the Commission had issued summons to the Commissioner, East MCD.
Officials from East MCD appeared before the Commission and informed that none of its schools have a security guard during the day shift. They also informed the Commission that out of 232 schools, only 15 schools have CCTV cameras, that too at the boundary and outside the classes. They informed that the proposal for installation of CCTV cameras at the boundary in all EDMC Schools is in advanced stage of finalization.
The Commission has taken a strong note of absence of security guards in the schools during day time as well as lack of CCTV cameras in the schools.
DCW Chief Ms. Swati Maliwal stated that lack of security guards and CCTV in the schools including the classes is unacceptable as it has a direct bearing on the safety and security of children and teachers in the schools.
The DCW had also issued a notice to Delhi Police in the matter of sexual assault of girls in an MCD school in Bhajanpura, Delhi and had sought the action against school authorities.
In a reply submitted by the Delhi Police, the Commission has been informed that action has been initiated against the school authorities for not reporting the case. The Commission has been informed that relevant sections have been added in the FIR under POCSO Act for the same.
Taking action on the information submitted by the East MCD, DCW has issued summons to the Commissioners of three MCDs seeking status of safety and security of students.
The Commission has asked complete details of schools being run by each of the MCD. “It has sought information of security guards present in the school in day time along with the details of steps taken to appoint security guards in all schools at the earliest,” stated DCW.
The Commission has also sought the details of installation of CCTV cameras, timeline of installation of cameras inside classes and condition of boundary wall of the schools. The Commission has also sought the details of mechanism setup by the MCDs to deal with complaints of sexual assault/harassment inside schools.
Further, the Commission has sought details of school staff such as principal, teachers and attendants, list of vacancies and steps taken to fill them. The Commission has also sought status of police verification of all school staff.
DCW chairperson Ms. Swati Maliwal stated, “A school is a second home for a child. Children should feel most safe in their schools which are supposed to provide holistic learning. However, the recently reported incident of sexual assault with girls in an MCD school has raised serious questions over safety and security of the children especially girls inside these schools. Further, the information provided by East MCD shows the dismal condition of safety and security of students as none of the schools have a security guard. This is unacceptable and the Commission has instituted an enquiry in this regard. Urgent steps must be taken to make these schools safe for children.”*