Friday, December 6, 2013

Police ask Chennai schools to step up security

Schools were asked to collect details of private vehicle operators who transport students The city police have asked schools to compile, by January 7, a database comprising the phone numbers, addresses and contact details of private vehicle operators who ferry students to and from schools. On Wednesday, around 450 representatives from 350 city schools were asked to step up security on school campuses apart from collecting details of private vehicle operators. Additional commissioner (north and west) P. Thamaraikannan addressed the school representatives. Information on the safety measures should be available with the schools as well as parents, the police said. Schools heads, who attended the meeting, said they were also asked to install CCTV cameras at the entry and exit points of their schools, at the earliest. After the kidnapping of an LKG student from a CBSE school in August, the police had a similar meeting with school heads. At the earlier meeting, they were urged to not have more than two entry and exit points, to work with parent-teacher associations to ensure drivers who drop and pick up students are carefully chosen, and approach the local police to get their antecedents verified. “Monday’s meeting was like a follow-up to the previous meeting and the police took feedback on the number of schools that had already installed cameras,” said M. Kalaiarasi, principal, Everwin Vidhyashram. Though the number of students using private transport is sizeable, Ms. Kalaiarasi said they had records of those in charge of picking up students from the school. “We were told that in case the regular person does not come, the class teacher must be informed,” she said. The principal of a matriculation school said the installation of CCTV cameras to monitor entry and exit points has now become necessary. “This is especially true for kindergarten and primary class students,” he said. Another principal said some schools are concerned the cost of setting up security systems will not be considered by the private fee determination committee, which fixes fees for private schools in the State.

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