The Supreme court direction for safer schools”

The Supreme court has recognized that “Right to education incorporates the provision of safer schools” and given direction on several aspects of school safety.

‘School Safety’ has been defined as the creation of safe environments for children starting from their homes to their schools and back. This includes safety from large scale ‘natural’ hazards of geological/climatic origin, human‐made risks, pandemics, violence as well as more frequent and smaller‐scale fires, transportation and other emergencies, and environmental threats that can adversely affect the lives of children.

Why the Supreme Court is too serious School safety –

The concept of school safety in its current form includes safety issues both inside and outside the school. It includes issues of child protection and safety that look at all forms of violence and deprivation that affect the physical and mental wellbeing of children. As it stands today therefore, School Safety is a concept that encompasses “the creation of safe environments for children starting from their homes to their schools and back. Safety of children, their teachers and parents needs to be approached holistically to include visible as well as invisible risks. School Safety efforts need to take cognizance of all kinds of hazards that may affect the well‐being of children.

These may include natural hazards such as floods and earthquakes as well as manmade hazards. Hazards include structural and non structural factors. Structural factors include dilapidated structures, poorly designed structures, faulty construction, poorly maintained structures, loose building elements etc while non structural factors include loosely placed heavy objects such as almirahs, infestation of the campus by snakes and any other pests, broken or no boundary walls, uneven flooring, blocked evacuation routes, poorly designed and placed furniture that may cause accidents and injury, inadequate sanitation facilities etc.

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