December 13, 2017

International Schools- Dormant Volcano

The brutal murder of a child in Ryan International in Gurugram is not the first incidence we have witnessed in a self proclaimed and styled premium schools.

Google search and you would find dozens of such cases across India. As indicated in one of my earlier articles, this is Mafia. Worst is the state and  central government are reactive. The trustees of these schools are big names. Some are real big names. Small incidence never get highlighted. Serious ones reach some corner of print media. If people feel the bubble has burst. No Ryan Gurugram case is just a wake up call.

When I say wake up call, I mean it.

Lets’s evaluate few basic questions.

  • After Ryan Gurugram what has the state and central government done?
  • What has the Cabinet Minister for HRD done?
  • What has the education department of each state and UT done?
  • What has the Police Chief of each city done?
  • The speed with which Haryana Police is investigating is fine but the whole question is even after Hon. Supreme Court of India intervening, what action have we seen on ground?

We are sitting on a Dormant Volcano. To prevent these cases we need proactive and preventive approach.

Central government should ask all such International schools to give a confirmation in writing to local police chief and education head that all systems with regard to safety, security of child are in place as per government guidelines. This should have a 24 hours timeline.

In case the systems and procedures are not in place they should inform the same in detail and also give time lines for completion.

Police and education department should do regular and surprise audit to reassure themselves and the parents. Any negative findings should be shared with parents.

On government part they should go for 100% Digital in Education.

  • Right from Playgroup to Xth all admissions should be online.
  • Fees to be paid online,
  • Management should disclose their educational qualification, criminal cases, experience, if they are on some government body panel (government should give an explanation why that appointment was done)
  • Academics and experience of Principal and Teachers,
  • Salary of teachers ( this is one serious issue)
  • Details of Corporal Punishment
  • Escalation matrix for parents to write complaint. This should have maximum 15 days for first level and maximum 60 days for central government appointed authority. More or less like OMBUDSMAN.
  • School should clearly mention that they don’t recommend books, uniform etc to be bought from select place.

There can’t be any donation for any reason from parents. Who wants to donate fund for school building. We don’t repair broken tiles in kitchen and bathroom, why would someone be so gracious to donate thousand and lacs for school building. Lets get real. And let us put pressure on government.

We all compromise on our medical bills but we never compromise on Child Education and Healthcare. Each parent, no matter how poor they are, they give the best to their children. If their children are not protected from these high and mighty then government is doing a big disservice to the Nation. Few more cases here and there and the government will realise that matter has gone out of hand. Parents would go and agitate, police does their own work. Everyone is right. No one is wrong. Why create chaos.Here is the answer.

Media. Yes. It’s media. The fourth pillar of Democracy. Have you noticed they actually compete with political parties to play religion game. Minorities school are never named in their coverage. Children are beaten for wearing holy Tilak, putting Mehndi on Rakhi, these news never become national news and no one returns rewards.

Take case of Ryan, entire focus was on Principal. No one in media was talking about Grace Pinto. Why. Matter is damn serious and it needs consistent monitoring.

Let the Education Minister or Home Minister speak to the Nation on National Broadcast.

It’s not only the premium ones, there are cases of smaller ones also, where the NGOs / Trust sell students , rape and molest them. Someone has to take the onus of putting things in place. It’s government, government and only government.

Best would be if Modiji writes series of Tweets on this subject and spends few minutes in his next Mann Ki Baat.

 

Picture Credit: Screen Shot from TOI Mumbai


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