Restoring safe school: From reactive to being proactive

Author:Syed Sultan Ahmed

Safety of Students is a prime concern of Principals these days

Safety in Schools is a buzz word these days in media and almost every other day there is a skeleton tumbling out of a school’s closet pertaining to the safety of students. Apart from the sheer disgust of the incidents that are shaking up our society a parallel debate that seems to have a strong undercurrent is – ‘Are these issues new in our society and our society suddenly filled with unscrupulous elements? Did incidents like this happen in the past?’ From my point of view whatever be the reason for this debate, the issue of School Safety has been brushed under the carpet for too long and given very little importance. Reactive is the name of the game, every school management wakes up suddenly when there is a child safety issue that makes news headlines and then they go back into a convenient slumber.

The recent gruesome incident that took place in a Ryan International School Gurgaon and the entire sequence of events that followed just goes to show that even the most organised educational entities in India have very weak foundations of systems and processes that run their schools.

If you choose to be a change maker, your first step is to learn something new

We at LXL are doing an in-depth research study on Safe Schools. Some of the initial findings that are being revealed by our research are scary, to say the least. Statutory requirements and governmental regulations on safety are not being followed by most schools, in fact, a lot of them are not even aware of them. Majority of schools have a primitive approach with a lack of established legal framework or legal counsel. PR is a term that schools associate with promoting their brand to get admissions. Media Relations is not part of the school management or educator training agenda, schools only look at media as a means to showcase themselves in society. Online and Social media is a new tool that most schools close their eyes to and believe that they can wish it away. Engagement with the parents is another area which is so complicated that it is anybody’s guess as to how schools handle this aspect, it may range from parents not being allowed to enter the school premises without permission to parents recruiting teachers.

At Mentor Conclave that is being held on 1&2 Dec in Bangalore, the underlying theme is School Safety. A detailed LXL Research Study will form the background of a session titled School Safety, industry stalwarts will share their learnings of PR, Legal, Media and its relevance to school safety through well crafted interactive sessions.

Schools are run with all good intentions but good intentions don’t create great organisation’s, sound systems and processes do. Being reactive to safety issues will be catastrophic to our society, schools have to be proactive and set up systems and processes that will make them safe havens where learning prospers.

About the Author

Ms. Syed Sultan Ahmed
A 1st Generation entrepreneur, Sultan is the founder of LXL Ideas (formerly EduMedia) an
organisation that impacts learning through its verticals – Mentor Magazine, School Cinema & Krayon
Events. He is a recipient of 6 prestigious President of India’s National Film Awards as producer.
Sultan is a certified NLP practitioner and Master Trainer from Dale Carnegie and holds a Masters
degree in Entrepreneurship from MIT-Boston. An amazing speaker, respected motivational trainer,
admired event manager, and a prolific educational blogger, Sultan’s many interests include riding his
Harley Davidson on long trips.

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