Schools’ role is to provide a safety cocoon to young children and unfortunately, the events taking place inside school premises have sapped the confidence of children and parents where that tempts us to ask serious questions on the temple of learning lacking in safety.
I am angry. I am shocked. To define the death of a 7-year-old child inside the toilet of a Gurugram school whose throat was slit and according to cops, there was an attempted sexual assault shocked is horrifying, sad or shocking is an understatement to make. We all know that there are vultures lurking around and our children are often at risk from the sick elements in our society. In the first instance, the murder of the child didn’t take place on the street but inside a school, considered to be a temple or mecca of learning where a young mind not only learn or make friends but gives a sense of security or comfort that makes him or her a lovable human being.
The most shocking aspect is how on earth that Ryan International School can take security aspect in a callous manner taking into account that the crime was committed in the morning. There are several questions raging into my mind: Why the alleged criminal, a bus conductor allowed to loiter inside the premises of the school and worse getting inside children’s’ toilet? It’s a serious breach on the part of the school authority that cost the life a child. The worse thing is that the school authority has apparently lied to the parents telling that the child is being transported to hospital while he was already dead.
How can school authorities take the security of children so lightly that predators were allowed to not only loiter but found an easy way to brutally assault a child? Was the child reported absent in the class and how come nobody got wind of it? If yes, why was it ignored? Common sense tells that a teacher should count the number of children in the morning and alert should be given why a child is missing. In case, the child was missing, the school head’s should have been immediately informed.
Moreover, there is a dearth of due diligence when it comes to security in school and sadly, it’s not happening for the first time since there are several instances where young kids were sexually assaulted, raped and murdered in the most gruesome manner. It goes beyond this incident. The way things have been handled in an amateurish manner in the past and the present case make us wonder the extent to which school doesn’t conduct a background check on their recruits such as bus conductors and drivers. In the first place, people who got no business inside the school should not be allowed to walk past the gate.
The time is now. Parents and teachers should play an important role and perhaps act as vigils to demand accountability report from time to time on every aspect from enhanced security to classrooms and cleanliness. It’s not about policing the school but ensure that the children are not only protected but don’t live in a state of fear. Moreover, schools should ensure that any suspicious activity be reported to the police and there must be officers running security check in every school corner be it toilets, unattended classrooms or within the premise itself.
The breach of trust and communication gap between school authorities and parents is the need of the hour that needs to be addressed. We cannot afford to pay such a heavy price for our children in our quest to give them the best of education. Losing a child is the biggest tragedy for parents and a nation. Children are our human capital nurtured with care and love. It’s a given that laws should be strengthened to give the hardest punishment to the sick minds. But, at the same time, blame shouldn’t be shifted to the Government only but the onus falls on schools failing blatantly to protect children. The school should be brought to task and be answerable for the death of the child.