Many schools have deployed teaching and non-teaching staff to ensure students' safety
The best place to teach students civic sense, or particularly, road sense, is the road or the space in front of their campuses. There, the students will get to see in the 15 or 30 minutes before the start and after the close of school hours all that is not to be done or followed. In short, the students will get to see all kind of traffic violations there.
The first lesson starts in the morning.
Parents, cab and autorickshaw drivers who take students to school, stop vehicles right in front of the school gate, unmindful of the vehicles following them. This is truer in places where schools are situated on main roads.
Vehicles pile up on the road causing traffic jam, as the young ones often take time to get alight. And if the school is near a bus stop, the problem is acute.
A school correspondent points out that the situation turns worse in the morning with anxious parents compromising safety norms in order to beat the clock. These parents also do not pay heed to the school security personnel's advice.
At G.D. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, staff and administrative staff wait on the road to ensure students' safety and also direct vehicles. “The school does not allow vehicles to enter the narrow school lane. The staff ensure that vehicles carrying students stop at the nearby post office, from where children walk safely to the school,” says a member of the school's staff.
Another school head says that the close of school hours is more chaotic because students to go out in batches at once. In the mornings, though, they get in over a staggered period of time. And, in the evenings, vehicles wait outside the schools in a haphazard manner and choke traffic. This hinders traffic flow on the road where the school is situated. This is the second lesson the students get to learn.
And the third is how the vehicles pick up the students. If the vehicles are parked across the road and students have to cross the road to get in, it is all the more difficult - both for the road users, who will have to watch for students' movement, and students, who will have to cross while watching out for on-coming vehicles.
To tide over the situation, many schools have deployed teaching and non-teaching staff to ensure students' safety. “Our security personnel help children cross the roads. Senior students who are part of the school's road safety patrol or NSS assist the personnel,” says another school head. In a few other schools like Avila Convent, the management has allowed the vehicles to enter the campus to pick up students.
School Headmistress Naveena says that vehicles enter the school and pick up the students in the presence of teachers. This way, the school avoids congestion on the roads in the periphery.
A few schools have also adjusted the timings in such a way that lower class students leave early. The Coimbatore Corporation has issued instructions to schools to provide two gates - one for entry and another for exit - to ease the flow of traffic. Many schools have followed the instruction.
School managements say they are ready to work with the civic body and the police to ensure their students' safety and smooth flow of traffic.