School safety and security involve all measures which are taken to prevent threats to people and property in educational environments. It is defined as the protection of students from violence and bullying, as well as exposure to illegal substances and activities such as drugs and gang activity.
The Rationale for Schools Safety and Security Regulations
The rationale for schools safety and security regulations for basic education are as follows:
Teachers and learners spend most of their day in school and hence, the infrastructure of the school must be resilient and well constructed. It should be built on the premise of life safety. It should also be free from toxic and inflammable materials. Elementary and primary classes must be located on the ground floor. CCTV must also be installed in the school and it must be maintained regularly.
Classrooms are required to be whitewashed at regular intervals and dusted regularly. There must be adequate windows and ventilators inside the classroom. The blackboard must be hung properly and safely to avoid any minor or major accidents.
Boundary Walls and Gates
According to RTE (2009), every school must have a boundary or fencing. There should be at least 2-4 gates but entry should be allowed from a single gate. The boundaries should be high and must have a concertina wire.
Proper health and hygiene
There must be adequate toilets and drinking water facilities. Measures must be taken to protect the health and hygiene of everyone in the school.
The ‘Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) Guidelines, state that schools must implement Immunization Programme to prevent children from gaining infectious diseases through vaccination. This protects the children against diseases such as Measles, mumps, rubella with MMR vaccine.
Micronutrient (Vitamin A and IFA) Management
The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, 2006 [Mid-Day Meal Scheme] emphasizes the provision of Vitamin A and IFA supplements to school children. It further adds that the same should also be supported by additional interventions relating to micronutrient supplementation and deworming.
Mid-Day Meal Scheme Safety
The MDM guideline states the provision of a cooked mid-day meal with 450 calories and 12 g of protein to every child at the primary level and 700 calories and 20 g of protein at the upper primary level. The energy and protein are provided to learners through 100 g of rice/flour, 20 g of pulses and 50 g of vegetables, and 5 g of oil, and for an upper primary child, it comes from 150 g of rice/flour, 30 g of pulses and 75 g of vegetables and 7.5 g of oil.
Safety and security are essential in schools to ensure learners can learn in an environment that is safe and well protected and there are no interruptions in their academic progress.