Ryan School boy murder: Police verification, safety audits are essential, MISA

School body meets to discuss various proactive measures that can be taken to ensure safety of children

Principals of 55 schools came together to attend the meeting held by the International Schools' Association
Principals of 55 schools came together to attend the meeting held by the International Schools' Association

In the wake of a number of incidents that have threatened the safety and security of children in schools, members of International Schools' Association (MISA) - a collective body of about 70 schools - met on Thursday, to discuss various proactive measures that can be taken to ensure that children are safe at school. Apart from making safety audits a regular practice, MISA has also decided that police verification should be made compulsory for all staff members.

The principals of about 55 schools attended the workshop and even experts were called in to educate the participants and create awareness regarding the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. According to MISA, even as schools are taking different steps in individual capacity to ensure students' safety, a collaborative effort with much informed decisions would be more effective.

Speaking to mid-day, Kavita Aggarwal, chairperson of MISA, said, "Schools do take steps to ensure the safety of children, but it is more important to get together and discuss the matter. Apart from experts speaking about POCSO, principals also discussed the importance of counseling and participation of parents. Planning should be more effective and it's possible only through regular safety audits."

While taking a collective decision of making police verification compulsory, Rohan Bhatt, treasurer of MISA, said, "It is not a very complicated process. As part of the meeting, we also discussed safety related to food, water and infrastructure, and fire safety. The safety audit of any school should consider these aspects as well."

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